What happens to staff if they don’t do their recordkeeping?
Categorised under: Document & records management
We’ve been doing a bit more work in the area of records management recently, and I’ve been chatting to a fair few people about approaches. Our interest is not on the back-end aspects (retention, disposal, etc) but on the adoption of records management practices by staff throughout the organisation.
Mostly, organisations seem to have a single message that they use when communicating to staff:
“You must use the records management system, because it’s extremely important that we meet our legislated requirements.”
The question I ask however is: what happens to staff if they don’t do records management? In your organisation, consider the answers to the following questions:
- Are staff rewarded for fulfilling their recordkeeping requirements?
- Are staff penalised for not doing recordkeeping?
- Are individual staff even assessed to determine whether they are meeting their obligations?
- Is recordkeeping included as part of the “performance evaluation” criteria set up (and assessed) by HR?
- Beyond the “number of documents added to the system each month”, are there meaningful metrics on the overall usage of the records management system?
My point is this: we wave our hands about a lot, saying how “important” records management is. When it comes down to it, however, we don’t actually do anything to ensure it really happens.
This sends a clear message to staff: this isn’t really important, otherwise something bad would happen to me if I don’t do it. I’m not saying that recordkeeping should be enforced, but I am highlighting the gap between words and actions. One way or another, these two things should be aligned.
(For more on this general topic, see my earlier article Rolling out a records management system.)