The days when employers had to keep fat, bulky files on their employees, with these locked away in the HR department office, are long gone. Thanks to ongoing advances in HR software, firms can keep all their employee data in one place and get the information they need in a click of a button.
But the reasons for keeping accurate employee records are the same as ever. Above all, in many cases, the proper management of personnel files is a legal obligation, and failing to keep sensitive information secure can result in a fine or even harsher prosecution under new GDPR regulations (dependant on the type of breach, fines can reach up to 4% of annual worldwide turnover of your previous financial year or €20 million).
However, savvy employers recognise that, far from being an administrative burden, maintaining up-to-date employee records can offer great opportunities. For instance, workplace records make everything from recruitment, right through to employee training and development and even dismissal easier and less stressful.
Without proper records, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to effectively monitor performance and productivity levels. A lack of such important information can hinder both the growth of the business and the development of the individual employee, so everyone benefits from accurate, up-to-date records.
At the same time, employee records can also help minimise any potential disputes between employer and employee. Even the most basic HR software package will allow an employer to keep precise records of punctuality and attendance, holiday entitlements and pay agreements (statistically the main topics of disputes), while they will also provide evidence that you have been following the correct workplace procedures.
Finally, it’s not simply a matter of making dealing with current employees easier. An accurate employee database will also allow you to access the records of former workers, again at the click of a button, as well as setting defined rules around the data retention policies around personal data. Ensuring you’re always compliant.
The days of colleagues or bosses scratching their heads when asked to provide a reference for someone who left the company several years earlier are, thankfully, a thing of the past.