Electronic Records Day

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What the Agency Can Do

Make sure employees know the Record Schedules - For State Employees: This includes both the State General Schedules and Agency Schedules. For Local Government Employees: Local Government Record Retention Schedules. Employees should know what records to retain, for how long and what the "record copy" is no matter what the format.

Have established policies in place - Agencies should have policies in place so all employees are following the same procedures. Policy will give proper guidelines on how to manage electronic records, where records are stored, who has access, how and when records should be purged, what to do with drafts, folder and filing schemes, etc.

Have established electronic "clean-up" days - It's easy to get overwhelmed with email records or let our electronic folders get full of unnecessary items. If the agency encouraged all employees to have an "electronic retreat" focusing on nothing but email/electronic records for 1 day or 1/2 a day, the agency would be working together towards the same goal at the same time.

What Employees Can Do

Understand your records - The first step in knowing how to control electronic records is to understand what you have. And the first step to understanding what you have is through proper training and knowing your retention schedules.

Create good structure - Most employees have issues dealing with all those electronic records - especially email. It is best to set up a good filing structure by category folders and sub-folders by year so that items can be deleted once they reach their retention time. Develop a system which will become a habit for you on a daily basis of how you will "deal" with your email.

Plan daily/weekly electronic times - Again, this should become habit forming. Every employee has a full workload but it can't be denied that electronic records/email are now an overwhelming part of the job and must be addressed. Devote 15-20 minutes in the morning to sorting emails. Put aside late Friday afternoons to sorting/filing/managing electronic records.