As a small to medium-sized business, you know how important it is to store accurate personnel records for your staff. You probably also know which ones you’re meant to be storing. But do you know where to store employee records? Or how they should be kept?
In this guide, we will look to answer these questions and more in our ultimate guide to logbook and document storage of employee data.
What is logbook and document storage?
A personnel file that stores all of an employee’s documentation is a place where employers can store all the necessary paperwork associated with each employee’s employment at the company.
Generally, companies keep personnel records in distinct categories for confidentiality purposes and ease of locating specific documents. These categories might include:
- Personnel file: This file includes records related to employment and the employee in questions personal details.
- Medical file: This file includes documentation of medical leave, emergency contacts and other medically related information. It might also include details of absences from work.
- Payroll file: This file includes information and documents related to pay, like timesheets and tax forms.
The Human Resource department at a workplace usually maintain personnel files. Other members of the company may have access to some parts of the personnel file, but generally, the information is confidential and restricted to those who need/should see it.
What details might need to be stored about an employee?
There are several details you may need to hold for your employees. These include:
- Personal details. These include name, address, and date of birth.
- Employment history. This includes start date, promotions, and job title.
- A record of the employee’s job description.
- Terms and conditions of employment. This might include details of pay, hours of work and holiday entitlement.
- Employee contract. This will be their standard contract of employment as issued and signed by the employer and employee.
- Absence details. This will include details of things like lateness, sickness, and maternity leave.
- Accident log. This will include any work-related incident or injuries of the staff member.
- Training information. This will include both internal and external training courses.
- Disciplinary actions. This will include any warnings issued and, if an employee has been dismissed, details of the termination of their employment.
What format can logbooks and documents relating to employees take?
There are many formats that employee documents might take. These include the following:
Paper-based employee records
Perhaps the most primitive way to store employee records. This normally involves using physical files that are organised in a filing cabinet or other storage device. There’s nothing wrong with doing this – at least not in terms of employment law – but it can be terribly inefficient. It might also lead to errors in documentation and increases the chance that files will go missing.
Manual electronic employee records
Manual electronic records are similar to paper-based records in that employer’s store employee information in simple document formats like text or spreadsheets. The documents are often just as rudimentary as paper-based ones but the way they are stored on PCs increases their usefulness and longevity.
If this is how you store employee information, then chances are your desktop is littered with spreadsheets for tracking employee absences, text files containing employee contracts, and archives full of holiday request forms and other administrative documents.
This method of storage is definitely a step up from using filing cabinets, but it’s certainly not the best technique and offers little of the flexibility found in dedicated HR software solutions.
Cloud storage electronic employee records
Similar to how text documents and spreadsheets saved on a computer are a step up from paper-based systems, using cloud storage to keep employee records safe offers another step forward in terms of efficiency.
Using tools like Google Docs or Dropbox means that although you still have the hassle of manually updating and editing your employee records, you have the advantage of being able to access them anywhere, anytime, on any device.
On-premises HR systems
You can store employee records using a local HR system designed especially for that purpose. While this can take some time to install and implement, the rewards can be massive. Because the systems are generally purpose-built for HR administration, repetitive manual tasks become a lot easier (and are often automated) and tracking becomes a lot more accurate and meaningful.
Of course, on-premises solutions still have their drawbacks. They are generally expensive to buy and often even more expensive to run.
Cloud-based HR software
Choosing a cloud-based HR system is by far the most efficient place to store employee record. In almost every respect, this method of managing employee data beats other systems hands down.
Most cloud-based HR software offers the following advantages:
- No hard drive storage or server room required at the office.
- No need for an internal tech team to keep your system running.
- Less need for expensive HR teams to manage documents.
- Most cloud-based systems offer unlimited storage of employee records.
- Most cloud-based systems offer free templates, contracts and letters that can save time and money.
- Tracking, reporting (as well as other data analysis and metrics) can be generated quickly and easily.
Benefits of having a good system of employee document storage
While it takes time to create file management strategies for your small business, your investment will pay off with the following benefits.
Compliance and Legal Protection
The most compelling reason to have a formal, effective document strategy in place is the law. Numerous laws require employers to store certain employee records. Some must be stored in a secure environment. Many have specific retention periods. A good document storing system will help ensure that you comply with all the relevant legal requirements and have thorough records in the event of legal action.
Security and privacy
Employers are also legally required to secure sensitive employee data, including medical information, information on disabilities, and other personal information.
A good document management system will prescribe security protocols to meet those requirements.
The only thing worse than working through a mountain of administrative paperwork is having to do it over and over again, hunting for documents and recreating lost data. A document management system is critical for efficient, organized HR administration.
An effective document management policy streamlines document access and sharing for efficient workflows. When you have a clear location and path for every document, you can ensure that the right documents are available to the right people on demand.
- Online personnel records of employees
- Job contract & personal records online
- Payroll, absence & vacation records online
- Upload any type of personnel documents
- Access documents with secure rights anywhere
A comprehensive, organized employee document management system does more than save a business administrative time and headaches; it gives them control over their employee data.
We hope that you have enjoyed this guide. For more useful workplace information, check out the rest of our website.