Have you been trying to increase awareness around your organization’s records management program, to no avail? If you are implementing a new records management program to keep your documents and files in order, you already know how important it is for everyone to be aware of the database and related policies, procedures and processes. It’s also important that everyone understand the benefits of a strategic records management program, which—if implemented correctly—should include the critical elements of disaster prevention and recovery planning, disposition, records classification and inventory, records scheduling, records conversion and storage and a vital records program. These are all good things, even great things, but how do you get everyone on board? According to communication experts, there are several ways to productively communicate with staff in order to build awareness around important news and information like this.
Below are five of the best ways to communicate with individuals and groups across your organization so they will know everything they need to know about the records management program that they rely on whether they know it or not.
1. Educate Key Team Members
According to Iron Mountain's 2012 Compliance Benchmark report, only 36% of records managers offer no or very limited training. Change and awareness happen from the top down in an organization. If the managers, supervisors and other leaders in your organization are not well-educated and enthusiastic about your records management program, their team members will likely follow suit. Well-educated leaders, on the other hand, can be ambassadors for the program or at the very least discuss it in their staff meetings.
2. Make Information Accessible
If you want to increase awareness around your records management program, you need the information to be in places where people are going to see it. Some creative ways to get the word out include posters, display booths and brochures that can be placed in common areas, as well as letters and emails that can be sent directly to employees’ homes and inboxes. And if you really want the information to be in a place where people will see it, consider including a brochure with employees’ paychecks or direct deposit slips.
3. Create an Informative Website
Chances are you have plenty of information to disseminate regarding your records management program. It might even be more information than you can reasonably expect to fit into a brochure or poster that staff will be able to quickly digest. By creating a website that employees and other stakeholders can easily access, you can place everything they need to know in one central location, with clearly labeled tabs for different subsets of information relating to the program.
4. Utilize Your Newsletter
If your organization has a monthly newsletter, this is the perfect place to publish information about the records management program in a place where employees will see and appreciate it. There are reputable articles already written about the subject of records management that you can gather information from, but at the end of the day the article should be created by a member of your team. It’s your program, after all.
5. Inform New Hires
Compliance managers and buyers often forget about new hires when they’re trying to disseminate information about a new program, but it’s a necessity if you want to continue building awareness and make this program part of your ongoing business plan. They are, perhaps, your most captive audience. So make sure to include information about the records management program in all new hire packets and employee handbooks that new hires will read.
When building awareness around your records management program, keeping stakeholders engaged is priority #1. If gaining a seat at the stakeholders’ table seems too daunting to even attempt, however, you should know that solutions are available to get past this hurdle. Consultancy firms have helped countless clients put better programs in place, build awareness around those new organizational policies and procedures, better educate all those involved, ensure compliance at all levels and cut costs by doing it all with automated systems. This might just be the boost of assistance you need to get your program off the ground and keep everyone motivated to comply with the positive changes they have in store.