The personnel file is often overlooked as simply a necessary storage unit for your employees’ information. But did you know that an employee’s personnel file is considered a legal document? Should an employee ever question your company’s actions in a court of law, the personnel file can be your greatest ally or threat, depending upon the information contained within it.
The questions then arise: What information should and should not be kept in an employee’s personnel file? How many files should HR maintain for each employee?
Below are five best practices to keep in mind when managing personnel files:
Practice 1: Privacy
Keep all personnel information in a locked and secure place to ensure the privacy of your employees. Your employees trust HR to keep information—such as their home address, social security number and birthdate—confidential, and it is imperative to maintain that trust.