What a Kindergartner Could Teach You About Records Management
Wed, Apr 22, 2015
By: Jim Beran
Ever since it was originally released in 1988, the book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten", by Robert Fulghum has been a modern-day classic. One of the reasons it’s touched so many people is that the simple life lessons he describes as being first taught in Kindergarten have such far-reaching effects in our everyday adult lives.
Giving it a little more thought, we realized that the same can be said about records management. For example, here are a few powerful lessons a kindergartner could teach you about effective records management:
A place for everything, and everything in its place
In many Kindergarten classrooms, every student is assigned a cubbyhole, or something of the sort. This is a simple place with a student's name written on a decorated sticker, piece of tape or magnet. Anything that belongs to the student must be put away went in their cubby. Anything taken out of the cubby has to go back in before they are allowed to use anything else.
If you’re still using a central file room or individual file cabinets to house all the hard copy documentation needed to run your business, this might make sense as a way to keep everything in its place. Those records need to be well organized, everyone needs to understand and follow the filing rules, and if something gets taken out of a file, it should go back where it came from.
Of course, in practice, this gets very difficult. That’s why so many businesses rely on offsite document storage solutions where bar code scanning systems guarantee that every single piece of paper has an assigned place and always makes it back there.
You can’t save every drawing on the refrigerator
What child doesn't love to bring home a drawing completed in class and see their parents beam with pride and put it on the fridge to be displayed for all to enjoy? Of course, after just a few months into Kindergarten, it's clear that there is simply not enough room on the fridge for every picture. What savvy parents might try to alleviate this problem is a nifty rotation of artwork as it comes in.
The same basic principle applies well to maintaining long-term storage of your business documents. While parents might rotate finger paintings, it is better known in records management as “retention scheduling”. With a well-documented and enforced retention schedule in place, you can be sure that all of your important documents are kept for as long as required and also destroyed when they need to be.
Sometimes milk gets spilled
There's no coincidence that our teachers used to have us put our books and papers away before lunch time began. The risk of food and drinks spilling on classwork is obvious for a group of kindergartners. These days, milk can still do damage. But what’s even more of a concern for responsible business owners is the possibility of a natural disaster like a fire, earthquake, or flood suddenly destroying years of important business records.
High grade disaster recovery document storage options provide a similar peace of mind of putting our books away before a snack as children. With your vital records stored in secure offsite storage facilities, you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to cry over spilled milk down the road.
What lessons did you learn in Kindergarten that you still apply? For more information about how our records management company can help you, contact us today.