Record Keeping in the Workplace

Posted on May 21st, 2015 by Tom Zimmerman

Regardless of your business’ industry, you should be practicing proper record keeping. Records should include what, where, why and when something occurred, as well as who was involved in the process. In the event legal action is taken against your business or an employee, you may need to refer to such records to protect yourself.

All employees and staff should be involved in the record keeping process; however, the chief executive of the business is responsible for ensuring records are made accurately and are appropriately filed. So, what needs to be done?

  • Make record keeping part of the routine. While some records are created naturally, such as email correspondence, others will require someone to take notes of meetings, telephone conversations, and more.
  • File into official records systems. Imagine years’ worth of records sitting in a disorganized stack. If and when the time comes to find a specific record, it will be difficult, if not impossible to find. Keep records filed in a way that makes sense for you. Electronic filing eliminates the hassle of keeping track of thousands of pieces of paper.
  • Do not destroy records without authority. Regardless of whether you file paper or electronic records, never delete or destroy anything unless you have the OK from the appropriate supervisor to do so. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what records are required in the long term.
  • Protect sensitive records from unauthorized access. Business records may include personal and confidential employee information, and therefore should not be accessible to just anyone. Ensure that records are stored in a secure place, and only give authorized persons the password or key.

Tips for keeping records

In a meeting: Delegate someone to make a record of the meeting, and make sure all decisions are clearly described. All meeting participants should sign at the end.

In conversations: Create a record for conversations that involve advice or instructions, permissions, and decision-making.

In other correspondence: Emails, letters, faxes and other such items related to your work should be filed in your business’ record system.

If you are experiencing a business dispute, whether internally or externally, contact Zimmerman Law Offices, P.C. for your legal counsel. Our attorneys provide effective representation in resolving a wide range of commercial legal issues.

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