January 12, 2022

Stop Leaving Sensitive Data Storage to Chance


Many small businesses still store sensitive employee information on paper documents in a filing cabinet. Other companies may have transitioned to storing these files electronically—however, those files may not be secure if they are stored on an employee’s laptop, being susceptible to both loss and breach.

These basic document management methods are neither secure nor sustainable for long-term operations or growth. In the event of an audit or legal action, not having document management software can lead to costly fines.

Whether your payroll staff needs access to direct deposit information or your HR team wants to provide managers with access to employee performance records, you need a document management solution. Effective workforce management requires easy and secure access to digital files and records that enable effective decision-making.

A reliable solution for document management stores the information you need, ensures security, restricts user access and streamlines compliance.

Ensure easy access to documents
Generally, HR and legal experts advise that organizations categorize HR-related files as personnel, medical and confidential. Under personnel, an organization might store job offers, promotions, compensation, employee agreements and acknowledgments, and performance evaluations. The medical category contains employee records related to benefit claims, accident reports, accommodation requests, workers’ compensation claims and health insurance forms. Within the confidential category, organizations store litigation documents, workplace investigation records, and pay garnishment forms (e.g., child support).

These classifications make it easy to organize documents and ensure compliance with confidential information as well as improve business process and document retrieval. In addition to classifying the types of information, when you add electronic document storage to your operation, it streamlines the process. It’s also less likely you’ll face the issues that come with a lost document that contains essential information. By allowing you to store documents by categories and link them to an employee profile, it’s easy for users to quickly find what they need.

Where there are legal implications, we recommend consulting with legal counsel as you map out your electronic employee file storage approach. They can help you determine what’s necessary based on your specific needs.

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Organize and secure employee information
If you don’t have an accessible electronic document management system in place, keeping track of employee-related documents and paperwork can be overwhelming for managers. It’s no surprise that in these situations, managers lose documents, waste time searching for information in paper files, and get stressed when an auditor arrives.

A document management software system solves those issues. Thanks to categories and tags, it’s easy to organize files and make it easy to search and find the required employee documents and information. Administrators can grant access based on title, function, or other relevant categories with permission settings.

For example, you can provide HR staff access to performance records and I9s. Meanwhile, your settings limit payroll staff access to pay and tax information only. Suppose you’re worried about users filling the system with unnecessary or unapproved files. In that case, you can restrict actions based on user type-for example, maybe you want HR users to have the ability to upload, download or delete documents. In comparison, managers may only be able to view documents.

Restrict access to sensitive data
Many of us have sadly been the victims of identity theft in today’s world. Employee-related documents contain very sensitive information. No one wants their bank accounts, social security numbers, and performance management details easily accessible.

If you’re using paper documents or storing unencrypted files on the owner’s laptop, your organization’s employee-related files are not secure. By using outdated document management methods, you’re putting your organization–and your employees–at risk of a personal data breach.

It’s part of an employer’s duty to securely store sensitive data like social security numbers, home addresses and salary records. Employees believe their employers will take the necessary steps to protect their data. If that data isn’t secure and a leak occurs, you’ll not only face costly data security issues, but will lose employee trust. Avoid those issues with document management that protects you from external threats and also allows you to restrict access to the right people and protect employees’ personal information.

Read more: 7 Ways to Protect Employee Data

Prepare for external audits
Organizations without a record management system in place find themselves struggling to locate required records, data and forms when an audit occurs. Agencies such as the Department of Labor have record-keeping requirements and perform employment file audits. To remain compliant, it’s critical to satisfy legal requirements for gathering and retaining employee information. The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) also have established requirements for storing and protecting employee information.

If you want to prepare for an outside investigation or audit, Integrated document management is essential. These agencies provide very little notice, and an audit can happen anytime. Companies must have documents readily available for an auditor to access when audited.

Enabling effective workforce management
During this era of extensive workforce change, HR needs to adopt a digital approach to employee file storage. HR is responsible for managing and maintaining a high volume of sensitive and confidential employee information. A document management solution that embraces digital transformation provides the secure access HR requires and relieves them of significant administrative burden. More importantly, these solutions allow HR to increase their agility in organizing the decision-making data the organization needs.

TCP believes that managing documents in a way that’s designed for the sensitive nature of confidential HR-related documents is a crucial part of workforce management. Learn more about our Document Management solution.