TOOL Electronic Records Training 101

By Michelle Rafter

May. 27, 2009

If you are helping to develop a system or are training employees on one, here’s what experts say you need to know:

• An electronic business record is information a company needs to keep for legal purposes, either because regulators require it, it addresses a business-related transaction, activity or issue, or it explains vital company policies or operations.

• A record could be made up of more than one electronic file or e-mail. For example, an employee’s personnel file, including a “résumé, job offer, e-mail correspondence about stock options, performance reviews and a bunch of other things could be a record,” says Brian Babineau, senior analyst with Boston-based Enterprise Strategy Group, an information management research firm.

• Employees need to be aware of the types of business records they create or work with in their jobs, and how those records should be retained.

• For the best results, electronic records management procedures and policies should be crafted by a cross-functional team including representatives from upper management, IT, legal, compliance and HR.

• The best time to train new employees on record management procedures and policies is during orientation. Existing staff should receive regular communications about electronic records management policies and procedures and be retrained after major technology or process upgrades.

Michelle Rafter is a Workforce contributing editor.

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