Human Resources or personnel management lies at the heart of a successful business and focuses on the welfare and performance of its employees. A personnel manager is involved with staff recruitment and training. He or she will administer policies relating to sick leave, holiday and benefits that are provided to employees such as health insurance and pension plans.
It is vital that businesses of all sizes keep appropriate personnel records and many of these records are required to be retained by law. It makes good business sense to have information organised in a manner which makes it easy to retrieve. There will also be many occasions when a manager will need to produce certain documentation relating to a particular employee.
Organizing employee records by name ensures they are easy to access should the need arise. Data can be stored manually or via a computerized system. Specialist software is available which can provide you with employee information at the touch of a screen and eliminates the need to spend hours formatting spread sheets or manually filing endless documents.
Personnel records you must keep by law
Whether you choose to file records manually or implement a computerized system, many personnel records must be retained by law. If you are setting up such a system, you would be wise to seek legal advice to ascertain which records you should keep and for how long. For example, the Inland Revenue will expect you to keep records relating to income tax and national insurance for three years and it is essential to retain accounting records for the same period. Policies relating to statutory sick pay and statutory maternity leave will also need to be retained for three years, whilst wage and salary records need to be kept for six.
Benefits of specialist software
Importantly, personnel software can increase the efficiency of your organisation by providing you with a computerized system to keep employee records in one place. It enables you to manage the entire HR function, tracking details such as holidays and absences in addition to retaining information on salary, training and recruitment. A computerized system can also analyse information and generate reports and letters in addition to storing CVs, photographs and other employee information.
A personnel department should focus on an organisation’s most important resource – its employees and an organisation that fails to recognize this is unlikely to survive. An effective personnel manager must ensure a job vacancy is filled by the right person and then continue to nurture that individual throughout their career with the company.
Organisation is a key to successful business and a personnel department must have an effective system in place to manage its employee records. Whilst many companies still maintain manual records, there is no doubt that a computerized system will offer a streamlined, easy to manage, centralized solution that could bring many advantages.