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One of the most important functions of HR is documentation. Typically, there are zillions of documents an organization produces or maintains. There are documents for about every activity that the HR undertakes, and that is saying a lot about the documents, because we may count the drops of the ocean, but not the documents that HR gets or handles!
This is where the problem begins. This is a typical case of more numbers meaning more trouble. By any standards, keeping and maintaining these documents is a huge, huge task. So, what should HR do in relation to employment documentation?
Follow best practices
Best practices exist for employment documentation. By their definition, these are practices that have evolved over time. They are a result of collective efforts and observations across the industry, usually spread over several years. That is why it pays to observe industry best practices for employment documentation. Employment documentation that follows best practices is also important for helping the organization gain an image as one that follows best practices.
Employment documentation has to be defensible and of high quality
Another very important element of good employment documentation is that it should be defensible. The employment documentation should have followed the proper legal course, or what is commonly referred to as due diligence. This is to safeguard the employer against future lawsuits from an employee against whom action has been taken. In the process of taking action, the employment documentation has to be thorough, proper and in accordance with steps prescribed by the applicable law.
These points need to go into good employment documentation
So, what are the elements of good employment documentation?
· Good employment documentation should be defensible
· It shouldn’t work against the employer
· Documentation should reflect the depth of knowledge of the HR department in relation to what, how and when to document
· HR should show a good understanding of the crucial elements of timing, purpose and content
· The documentation should clearly reflect retaliation from the employee’s side