Make The Change: Don’t Just Remember it. Document it.
1st Aug 2019 | Emily Fletcher
The saying “the dullest pencil is better than the sharpest memory” is an ancient Chinese proverb, basically meaning “write it down if you don’t want to forget it”.
Documenting or recording information gives you the liberty or privilege of being able to forget and is a huge advantage if you want to accurately recall important details.
In life, it is very useful.
In business, it is essential.
In the corporate world, record taking and document making are often neglected and viewed as boring administrative tasks, especially in smaller enterprises. HR and training records are often overlooked, and paperwork not maintained to a proper standard. This is generally because it is often assigned a low level of priority given all of the other activities that are necessary in running a successful business. Many companies either play catch up, keep stashes of paperwork in a disorderly manner or simply do not maintain accurate records at all.
In 2019, the age of health and safety compliance, litigation and pay rewards via merit systems, this kind of approach is no longer viable and whether you have three employees or three hundred, a proper document management system is a must. At home, you will not get sued if you don’t write a shopping list and forget the toothpaste, but your company could face severe consequences if your health and safety training records are considered inadequate when faced with an employee who has cut their finger off on the ham slicing machine.
Let’s look at the principal needs for keeping detailed employee, compliance and training records:
- Compliance – all health and safety, industry licensing and regulatory requirements of the job role are evidenced
- Employee training progression – ensuring all training programmes as outlined in the induction process are accomplished in a timely fashion and signed off
- Reduction of liability/litigation – evidencing of the above two areas ensures that your risk of litigation is hugely decreased (including reduction in liability for discrimination and harassment claims and not just health and safety components)
The above points are of the utmost importance for all companies to consider. In addition, there is the added bonus that well maintained training records can be used in skills-gap analysis by cross-referencing competencies to required skills. It is a supremely useful tool for company goal-setting, charting new corporate strategies, pursuing competitive advantage, adaptation of incentive schemes, training goals and more.
There are no valid reasons NOT to produce and maintain detailed records.
Digitising documentation (scanning and saving) is slow but practical and is the option many companies turn to when creating a formal documentation system. However, more and more organisations, in this modern era, are turning to software tools to help them handle employee training records in one easy, accessible place. The advantage, here, is that reporting on the progress of training is available at the touch of a button, changes in processes are flagged and tasks with repeated reassessment requirements can be scheduled. In certain industries such as health, social care and education, training documentation for compliance to regulatory certifications is imperative.
Do not rely on your memory and maybe an A4, spiral bound, jotter pad when recording your employees training. Instead, sharpen the proverbial pencil and get on board with a documentation system that, will enhance your business; save you time, effort and money; benefit your employees; prevent potential court appearances and maybe save your employees a finger or two.
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