People are at the heart of HR, but when your days are dominated by filing and managing documents and then tracking them for compliance, it’s hard to find time for anything but paper. This is the reality for many HR professionals as we continue to work to navigate the complex compliance landscape. 

It’s far from fun, but we all know how vital document retention and file management functions are, especially given the rising complexity of regulations like HIPAA Compliance and PHI access.  

The good news: You don’t have to lose sleep over document retention anymore. HR technologies like document management systems, HR automation, and the cloud can help manage your compliance and add significant value to the HR team’s role in organizational success. 

The bad news: Not all HR technologies have the capability to manage your document retention strategy, so that should be on your list when you are exploring a new platform in your HR tech stack. 🙂 

What will you do with all that extra time in removing document management from your daily workload?  I recommend putting the human back in human resources in your organization.

Let’s explore 4 ways HR technology can improve your document retention efforts.  

4 Ways HR Technology Supports Your Document Retention Efforts

1. Automatic Compliance with Automation

HR automation has many benefits across your HR processes, but for now, I want to highlight the power of an automated document retention strategy. When you automate your document retention strategy, you get to establish predefined rules for how long different types of documents should be retained based on legal requirements or internal policies. Then, your system will automatically enforce your set rules, ensuring that documents are kept for the appropriate length of time and disposed of when they are no longer needed.  

Once you achieve this, you not only simplify the overall process of retention policy management but you enjoy four key results: 

  • You get measured and controlled document destruction, automatically eliminating the sensitive documents you no longer need to hold onto. 
  • It lowers the volume of content you need to collect for regular audits, making the entire auditing process easier, reducing audit costs, and minimizing your risk of incurring relevant fines. 
  • You can reduce the cost of off-site retention storage costs by eliminating redundant or obsolete files.  
  • You can avoid the risks that come with keeping unnecessary information, like minimizing potential legal liabilities by securely disposing of sensitive data. This also ensures compliance with recordkeeping regulations, providing protection against unauthorized access or accidental file deletion. 

 As a result, you can greatly reduce the risk of your organization’s information falling into the wrong hands. After all, once information is destroyed, it can no longer be accessed improperly

2.  Centralized, Digital Storage

HR technologies like document management systems and cloud solutions can capture and store employee documents electronically in one central location. Once they’re stored, you can ensure that your confidential employee information is secure and cannot get misplaced or lost, which is a big win for compliance.  

It also means you can easily respond to employee file requests faster and drastically reduce your need for physical storage options like filing cabinets. But we can’t neglect to mention how much time can be saved once these manual, paper-based tasks go away, too – you can say goodbye to long document hunts and reallocate that time to more value-added tasks. 

3. Enhanced Document Accessibility

Along with providing a centralized document storage location, cloud-based document management systems go a long way in enhancing document accessibility. Thanks to this technology, authorized HR professionals, managers and employees can access the files they need from anywhere at any time. This is one of the biggest benefits my team and I have enjoyed since implementing this technology several years ago. It’s made our work lives easier, for one, but it has also been a key player in how Naviant has been able to achieve our remote work model. 

4. Simplified Security and Audit Processes

As I mentioned earlier, we’re seeing a steady rise of complicated new requirements pertaining to privacy and document retention, along with heightened risks of security events. This is another reason document management systems have become such a crucial component of the HR ecosystem.  

With this technology, you gain access to functions like role-based permissions, complete audit trails, automated disposal, and current, complete files that are easy to find for authorized employees. All these features work together to facilitate compliance and reduce the possibility of high legal fees and penalties. 

Protect Your Organization’s Standing 

To stay competitive, it’s simply no longer an option to use traditional manual records management approaches. Fortunately, tapping into technology is more accessible than ever, and it’s not just key to protecting your organization’s reputation and trust. It’s also your access point to unlocking time for more strategic work that elevates your employee experience.  

Want More Content Like This and Keep Up with Tricia? 

About Tricia

As Naviant’s Chief Human Resources Officer with 20+ years in the HR field, Tricia has seen HR professionals across industries grapple with similar challenges: endless needs and a shortage of time. She’s also seen the role of the HR professional evolve dramatically. These realities give rise to the need to evolve and adapt. Tricia believes that the answer to these challenges is to lean into technology. This way, HR professionals can truly put the human back in human resources. With her monthly articles on the Naviant blog and her regular LinkedIn content, Tricia is on a mission to empower HR professionals to embrace technology to shift their focus from keeping up with the need to supporting people and fostering growth and engagement. Want to keep up with the latest in HR? Connect and follow Tricia on LinkedIn to keep the conversation going.