Documents make up an essential part of an organization’s daily activity. They keep account of the different activities and offer a reference for continuity within the organization. Within the human resource department, some HR documents cannot be ignored. They are the most important documents for that department. These include:
We shall get back to these and more later. For now, let us understand the importance of documents in a human resource department.
It is one of the HR best practices to keep documents concerning different activities within the department as well as the organization HR documents and forms consist of different events that occur within a company. These can be both formal and informal. The main reasons these records are taken include:
The following are the most important documents that every manager needs to include in their HR document checklist.
This document gives a clear description of the role a person filling a particular vacancy will play. It helps both the organization and the applicants to understand what will be expected within that position. This record can be revisited anytime there may be confusion or doubt about roles within an organization.
Since this document is quite long and can be elaborate, many human resource departments use templates to create the document. Some free HR templates available online may serve for general purpose while customized ones may have to be created from scratch and you need reliable document automation software.
It is a bit similar to the document above, however, this encompasses more than just expectations within the position an employee holds. The handbook has guidelines about procedures and policies within the organization that everyone needs to follow. It can contain information about time to report to work, how to apply for leave, sick days as well as dress code, and so on.
The employee handbook is one of the popular HR document for new employees and is handed to them on their first day or provided as part of a digital welcome package.
Employees may fall short of expectations and sometimes need to be notified. This could be cases of late coming, harassment of fellow employees, poor performance, misuse of company property, and so on. These are letters that may have to be drafted by the HR or supervisor, but in the end, the human resource department has to keep records of this in the employee file and may need to retrieve them at a later date, for example in the unfortunate event that an employee needs to be let go. These documents serve as evidence of misconduct and attempts made to correct the conduct.
Statutory employment regulations may demand that organizations keep records of employee data. These may include documents concerning taxes, benefits, health insurance, payroll records, and deductions among others. These make up the standard HR documentation process for personnel in the department to keep track of. These documents are important to satisfy legal disclosure regulations.
It would probably be thought that compensation documents should be with the accounts department. Although they may have a copy, this data is accessed from the human resource records since the initial agreement on compensation for an employee’s services is discussed as part of the employment contract. These documents consist of more than just salary information, they can also include bonuses, information about increment, and so on.
HR departments spend a lot of time putting together these documents. They comprise several small documents intended to make a new employee comfortable and get used to the new work environment. These documents hasten an employee familiarity with the organization and its culture. It is important that important content is not missed out and that is why many organizations will have a checklist for these documents or even automate the process and provide an HR document PDF that includes all the necessary information.
Some documents included in this package include the appointment letter, a general email to all employees introducing the new employee, an offer letter, organization policy as well as access information to help the new employee find their way around the building.
In some organizations, HR is responsible for designing a schedule that will be followed especially where shift work is done like at hospitals and factories. These records have to take into consideration staff members who may be on leave or who have annual leave coming up soon. The documents need to be up to date with such information so that absent employees are not included in the schedule as that can bring about confusion. The HR also needs to know the competencies of different employees to ensure they do not assign the wrong person a particular task for the day.
At the end of employment with the organization either because of retirement, moving to a new job, or termination of employment, HR has to provide certain documents. These could be a certificate of appreciation, recommendation letter, terminal benefits information, a letter of termination, and so on. These documents need to be personalized and the information needs to be up to date, this requires that the department keeps related documents that can be referred to when generating the exit documents.
The amount of information collected, processed, and stored by HR departments can be massive. The above documents are simply the most important, but there are many more that they deal with. To aptly carry out their duties, they depend on various tools. These include the following.
Document Automation Tools: Documents can be processed faster if the department is equipped with automation tools. These will quickly capture necessary information, store it in the right place, update it where necessary and when a particular document needs to be created, the tools will help retrieve the relevant data and enter it into a template for that document. This takes just a few minutes and gets it right all the time.
Recruitment Tools: These tools are made specifically for use in the recruitment process. HR professionals can use them to post vacancy ads, receive applications, filter applications, and schedule interviews. Some of these tools are also document management tools.
Listening Tools: These are not spy gadgets to listen to private conversations. Listening tools are intended to improve engagement with employees through providing channels for the employees to provide feedback. Often, the feedback can be provided anonymously. This helps HR understand the mood of employees. It can also help when determining what would be the best training for individuals or groups.
Payroll Management Tools: These do exactly what you think. They handle the payrolls. These tools are automated to collect payment information which includes the number of hours worked, deductions to be made like taxes and benefits among others. The software then totals up what an employee should be paid and processes the payment.
Performance Appraisal: Employee appraisals need to be governed by particular indicators that can be tracked continuously. Supervisors and HR personnel can use appraisal tools that provide the needed information to keep track of the performance of every employee as well as adjust goals to suit particular situations. These tools can even include timesheets that keep a record of the time an individual reports to work and when they leave every day. Such tools eliminate bias when certain decisions are being made concerning an employee.
Document Safety Software: Employee information needs to be kept private. HR professionals are charged with keeping such information safe. Lock and key are no longer enough security so technology offers a better solution. Cloud storage, password protection, and biometric access are some of the options used by different professionals to keep HR documents safe and private.
HR departments exist in various industries and some of the documents may be more important in one industry than the other. The documents listed above are common in most industries and are considered necessary most of the time for the efficient functioning of the human resource department. Smaller organizations may need fewer documents to carry out their activities but the technology still plays a key role in making the workflow continue smoothly. Most of the documents can be processed using different tools and the ones mentioned above are simply the common ones used in different document processing.
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