Organizing your personnel Files
One of the simplest and most overlooked aspects of being organized is getting your personnel files organized. Employee Performance in the Personnel Files
One good practice to get in the habit of is to periodically inspect and clean out all of your employee personnel files. You should set a time to do this at least once a year, perhaps at the same time you are conducting employee performance reviews. When you go through the personnel files, you should be looking to take out any documents that are not necessary. Here are some questions to keep in mind when performing this task:
- Does the employee personnel file that you are holding contain every written evaluation of that employee, to the best of your knowledge?
- Does the employee personnel file that you are holding contain every written document that pertains to all raises, promotions and commendations that the employee has received?
- Does the employee personnel file that you are holding contain all written documentation that pertains to all warnings or other disciplinary action taken against that employee?
- If your company has policies in place about removing documents regarding warnings and discipline after a certain period of time, have all documents meeting these criteria been removed from the personnel file?
- If your company engages in “performance plans” or “probationary periods” for struggling employees, are all files updated to reflect each employee’s current status?
- If you have updated your employee handbook since an employee has started working for you, do you have a written and signed acknowledgement of receipt of the new handbook from the employee?
- Does the employee personnel file you are holding contain copies of current contracts or other agreements between you and the employee?
You should keep these questions in mind when going through your personnel files. Updating and cleaning out personnel files is much like keeping a computer running smoothly by periodically removing unnecessary files — it is a chore, but it must be done.