The human resources department is one of the organizational arms that still relies on paper processes. From talent acquisition to external announcements, printing and archiving these for referential purposes is probably the records management approach that the conventional HR is still following.
While there’s nothing wrong with this kind of approach, it doesn’t make the files less susceptible to damage, especially to natural disasters (earthquakes, typhoons, and many others). It’s all in the books as to how devastating these phenomena are but we often neglect to see how the preventable threats could do to the entire organization and to your stack of physical records.
These preventable HR file threats are as follows:
This is probably the most undetected threat anyone can encounter for their stack of papers. Termites are considered as “silent destroyers” as they show no signs of damage unless checked or until they ate their way through a material and show clear signs of deterioration. These detritus feeders primarily eat cellulous, an organic compound found in wood, decomposed plant matter, and yes, paper.
Termite infestation doesn’t just compromise construction foundations but can also weaken one of the business pillars: your physical HR records. Maybe calling the termite control services is the top-of-mind solution but an established records management approach for your human resources department is the more spot-on, long-lasting remedy. Organizing how you manage your files is far better than re-grooming each file, page by page.
Another threat to physical files is water leakage. What’s unique to this threat is that its only medium is water but can damage paper files in so many ways—through a faulty roofing plan to a dripping air-conditioning system; through leaky pipes to mere rain splashes in an open office window.
Just like the termites, this threat damages your HR files gradually but doesn’t make it less destructive. Without your knowing, there might be a faulty water pipe somewhere that is already dripping over your documents and damaging them little by little.
While vicinity maintenance and document waterproofing should help, securing digital backups for each file is also an ingenious approach to hack your way against this threat.
Natural disasters aside, fire is the most devastating threat among the three, not just for your HR records but for your entire company. Statistics show that out of 4 businesses that were hit by fire, 1 doesn’t reopen after the disaster. And just for US alone, office property fires cost a whopping $112 million each year, from 2007 to 2011.
Being a victim of fire is like a reset button for the company without a way to reverse it as it clears up everything that it touches, like everything! It can start with one faulty wiring, a cooking mishap in your office pantry, or an unextinguished cigarette butt and end up putting the entire business to ashes.
Fire prevention efforts like the installation of smoke-activated sprinklers or placing fire extinguishers around the office vicinity will work just fine but keeping digital versions of very important documentations such as your HR files to the cloud is putting fire prevention to a notch higher. This allows you to easily pull up the necessary documents for resuming company operations in case fire devastated your office.
What should the human resources department do
Aside from being preventable, one common thing about these threats is that they start small and end up as a big destruction to the company.
Preventive efforts are surely at play against these threats. Strengthen those efforts by disaster-proofing your documents. More than anything, your HR records are one of the most crucial documentations your company should highly value and protect from the damages caused by these threats.
Do this with a fresh records management perspective. Digitize your HR files and store them in the cloud! Too busy to do the tedious scanning? Have others do it for you through the document scanning services available nearby! Talk to us.