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Five records management myths worth forgetting

Ken Wessels, Operations Director at Meniko Records Management Services.

Johannesburg, 12 Jul 2021
Read time 3min 10sec

The internet is full of misleading information and, without properly checking the facts, many people take statements at face value. At times, what is known as cognitive bias takes over: Perhaps someone in your industry told you that you cannot destroy your records, for instance, and you ignore all information that would suggest otherwise and stay on the bandwagon. This blog serves the purpose of ensuring that you are not misled about the use of records management in your company ever again.

Myth 1: You should not destroy company records

Companies that have a fear of going paperless reinforce this claim out of a fear of losing paper-based records. Your records are yours, no matter what format they are presented in. Destroying records in conjunction with the law is completely legal as long as they have passed their retention period. To help you out with the legality of your records retention, we have a detailed guide just for you.

Myth 2: All records can be destroyed after seven years

It is risky to assume that after retaining your records for seven years, it automatically means that you can destroy them yourself. This rule should not be used across all industries because your retention policies will vary. If all companies abide by this assumption, it means they are destroying their records too soon or too late in a record’s life cycle. Some records can be destroyed in a short period of time, such as employee records after an employee contract has ended.

Myth 3: Old records have historical company value

It is perfectly natural to confuse ‘old records’ with ‘historical value’. But if you are keeping such records because ‘you might need it later’, you could be agreeing to unnecessary storage expenses. We have professionals on standby that will help you determine the historical value of your records and advise you whether they are worth keeping. We will walk you through the entire process on what is being done to your records, you needn’t feel reluctant to put your trust in us. According to Mike Morris, our Business Development Director: “We don’t just sell a solution and walk away, it’s about engaging with the customer; ensuring within the organisation that there is a change management programme that moves them from the paper world to the digital world.”

Myth 4: Records management is a cost we cannot afford

If you are only considering the cost of a records management system, you are not taking all the factors into account. What about the cost associated with disaster recovery – natural or man-made? Think about the current protests and political unrest going on in South Africa; you are putting your records at risk of being destroyed with no way of recovering them. The question is, can you afford not to invest in a records management solution?

Myth 5: Records belong to the employees who create them

Any form of company documentation belongs to the company. Executives should be worried when employees treat company records as their own property, because it gives them authority to take this information home with them, or worse, to a competitor. Avoid putting your company sensitive information at risk of falling into the wrong hands and secure them with a records management solution that contains security access controls.

If you have any other concerns regarding records management, contact us directly. There is no harm in double-checking.