Your employees are bad at information management

Jul 19
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They’re the statistics to make any records manager shudder:

  • 46% of employees say it’s challenging and time-consuming to find the documents they need 
  • 83% have to recreate documents that already exist because they can’t find them
  • 65% experience challenges in reviewing and approving documents 
  • 93% can’t find documents because they’ve been badly named or tagged 

The volume of records and data flowing through government departments is quickly escalating- now sitting at around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. 

Combining the sheer volume with other challenges around increasingly complex record management policies, complex systems, security risks and lack of organisational training, its clear why the statistics around poor records management, released by IDC, are so scary.

Adobe refers to this as the “document disconnect” which is more than a headache for employees. Poor records management sees adverse revenue effects, reduced business agility, lowered employee productivity and increased operating costs. 

Assume though that a business has a state of the art RIM system, technology does not fill the gap left by subpar employee understanding and engagement.

Policies and manuals aside, companies will likely end up with duplicate documents, inconsistent file names and incorrect storage locations if employees don’t understand the importance of good records practice. 

How can records and information managers educate the wider organisation? Laserfiche asked 3,000 records managers and these are their key takeaways:

  1. At home you likely dispose of a bill after you’ve paid it, but you retain work receipts because you know you’ll need them come tax time. Analogies are your best friend as you make an alien concept more familiar by likening it to something they’re accustomed to. 
  2. Tell horror stories. Sometimes regular offenders need to be shaken out of apathy. “Imagine being the employee responsible for a six month audit,” you could say, and watch their eyes widen in concern. 
  3. Open the conversation. By asking them what bothers them about current documentation or records processes and they respond with “it takes too long to find” or “it’s always missing important information,” they’re acknowledging themselves why thorough record keeping procedures need to be followed to the T. 
  4. Let the CEO deliver the message. This goes beyond simply attaining c-level approval and recruiting the executive team in becoming advocates for record keeping. Is your company too big for individual chats? Record the CEO’s message, embed it on the organisation’s portal, send it to all users. Now you’re not the only voice begging for order. 
  5. Don’t let them pass the buck. Record keepers have a birds eye view of the organisation and instances of departments shirking responsibilities onto others are painfully obvious. Once employees understand they’re on the same team, staff should be more receptive to sharing record management duties.

Want more ways to demonstrate the value of effective and efficient records management? 

The 3rd Digital Records & Information Management Summit, running at Hotel Realm, Canberra, from 17-19 September 2019, is bringing together public sector records and information management professionals to share best practice examples of gaining organisational buy in.

Attendees will also understand the National Archives’ new policy from 2021, overcome the challenges of interoperability and accessibility for effective RIM, and develop frameworks for information governance.

Submitted by Criterion Content Team

Criterion Content Team

This post has been written by the Criterion Conferences Content Team. Based in Sydney, we are an independent research organisation, producing over 90 conferences a year across a variety of industries. Our events, attended by thousands of senior delegates from the public and private sector, are designed to enrich, inspire and motivate. Our focus is on providing innovative, value adding content via our conferences and blogs like this are extension of that principle. You can view our conferences by visiting our website

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