Records Management Awareness & Continuous Learning Campaigns
Records Management awareness is not a once off but an ongoing application.
Successful creating Records Management awareness is not a once off achievement or feat but the application of knowledge, procedures and processes on a continuous basis.
While ultimate Records Management responsibility rests on the shoulders or an organisation’s Records Manager or RM team, it is nonetheless the responsibility of everyone throughout an organisation from the top to the bottom to comply with Records Management Policy.
Facilitating Compliance and an RM Friendly Working Environment
Since creating Records Management awareness is an ongoing activity, it is one that requires ongoing education, motivation, and monitoring of compliance.
Few people respond well to heavy-handed orders and demands for compliance. Such an approach will be an exercise in wasted energy and frustration not to mention create an environment of low morale and antagonism.
The correct approach is to create and maintain Records Management Awareness through the use of positive educational and learning actions.
You cannot expect compliance without first bringing home an awareness that Records Management Policy exists, why it exists and the benefits it unlocks for the organisation and its individual staff.
The first action is to create awareness that RM Policy and an RM Programme exist. This can be done through internal newsletters, emails, posters and printed materials. It can be introduced even more thoroughly through internal seminars or talks.
Since Records Management is an ongoing application of knowledge through procedures and processes, such must then be made known before they can be used.
Education in RM Policy and Procedures should be done regularly to ensure correct application. Education can be carried out through internal workshops, e-learning programmes, and in-house study programmes.
It is important that Records Management is understood in terms of why it is needed as well as how it creates benefit for the organisation and its staff as well as how it delivers a return on investment.
Application without understanding the above will fail as the purpose is not known. Any application will then be done carelessly without much thought.
The word compliance for many will conjure images of disciplinary action and demands, neither of which are great motivators.
A better approach to compliance is through positive reinforcements along with education of consequences. The latter could be carried out by bringing to the attention of staff examples of instances in other organisations where RM policy was not complied with and led to disaster.
That said, positive reinforcement and even rewards/awards for compliance will bring about greater compliance and better application. Tools to use here may include internal surveys to better understand RM application by staff as well as the gathering of testimonials where correct RM implementation improved, made more efficient or greatly enhanced the ability to get work done.
Records Management is not an option action organisations carry out but an essential one. Done well it greatly enhances the organisation and its staff. Through Awareness, Education and Monitoring your RM will be made easier and more successful.