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Records Keeping - « back to Articles

A well maintained system of record keeping is an important management tool. Large corporations have full departments employed to keep track of such personnel records as:
  • recruitment programs
  • evaluations
  • promotion & bonus schedules
  • union contracts
  • training plans, programs and facilities
  • staff planning
  • salary administration
  • benefit plans
The average small business probably will not need to maintain such a variety of records but certain key records are important.

Files that are Important

There are two types of files you will want to keep for your own business.

1. Personal files


Establish individual files to contain copies of documents and correspondence relating to each employee. The first document in the file could be the employee's original job application form.

Other items to keep in the file could include:
  • employee letters of reference
  • workers' compensation information
  • year end taxation forms
  • vacation schedule
  • records of absenteeism
  • record of promotion and advancement
  • personnel evaluation
2. Employment records

Provide a summary for each employee's personal data.

Include:
  • educational background
  • job and wage history
  • advancement history
  • security pass information or other identification
  • recent photograph of each employee
Update your employment records annually. File a written evaluation review of each employee's performance. Share the results of the evaluations through a personal meeting, review each employee's record and note his or her comments. Whenever you hire, fire, relocate, or reassign employees within the company update the information to your employment records.

Keep on file records of former employees and unsuccessful applicants for approximately 24 months. Requests for references are common and information for tax return preparation are also frequent requests.

Properly destroy old records when they are no longer needed, this prevents your record keeping system from becoming overburdened. Proper disposal of outdated records protects you and the individuals who have supplied their personal data to you from improper use by others.

Check with federal and provincial authorities on such records as payroll and workers compensation data many of which must be maintained for longer periods.

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