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Employee File Management is a good start for ECM

I was happy to see that there was at least one Back Office Content Solution that was being addressed by Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendors.  There is no better example of an end user solution that uses core ECM technology than managing employee files.   Traditional ECM vendors like OpenText, Xerox and eFilecabinet are competing with Human Resource vendors like Ascentis and RPI Tech with their Employee File Management (EFM) solutions.

Collecting and Reconciling Documents

In addition to an application, there are several documents that are part of the employee folder.  Some of these are critical and could bring fines to the organization.  For example, a missing I-9 document can cost an organization $110 to $1,100 per document in fines.

By collecting the employee documents and organizing them in an EFM, the system can check for those missing documents.  It can notify the HR representative or hiring manager to address this issue.  Document audits can also be performed as a daily automated task rather than the manual process that is often done today.

The Virtual Folder

Through the course of business, managers need access to employee records more often than does human resources.  This often creates a second employee folder that is not controlled or managed by human resources, in the manager’s office.  Depending on  on what’s kept or not kept in that folder, this could expose the company to fines or other litigation related consequences.

The use of a virtual folder means that anyone with the right permissions can access that folder from anywhere.  This supports the manager in the office, those on the road, and human resources.  The EFM becomes the one source for the truth.

Employee Files Require Retention

The retention rules in the U.S. are rather specific for employee files.  According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employment records should be kept for one year after the employee leaves.  Certain documents in the file may need to be kept longer like OSHA safety documentation which can have retention requirements as long as 30 years. There are other various retention rules for payroll records, collective bargaining records, and state and local level rules.   Manually addressing these items can be a challenge.

ECM technology makes this easier because each document type can have its retention defined.  Records management will help to ensure that those documents that can be destroyed are no longer kept in the system, rather than kept indefinitely as is often the case.

Focus on Employee File Management is one way for ECM vendors to address the end user’s real problems.  There are still many more content solutions in the back office that can be addressed by ECM.  There’s even more in human resources.

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