How relevant is your Filing System?
The "Temp Test"
Please ask yourself .........
If all your Administration Staff resigned from your organisation tomorrow and were replaced with Temporary Staff that has no knowledge of your business, how efficiently would documents be retrieved from your manual filing system?
Take the "Temp Test" to find out ........
Julia Chambers is an employee in your organisation. She requests details of her leave taken in the last 9 months. In your filing systems you house personnel files which hold a single category of information:
- If there is a file entitled "Employees' Leave" containing alphabetical dividers, the Temp would be able to find the leave record of Julia Chambers under the "C" divider. This file forms part of a relevant filing system.
- If there is a file entitle "Chambers, Julia", the Temp would be able to find the leave record of Julia Chambers in this file. This forms part of a relevant filing system.
- If there is a file entitled "Chambers, Julia" in a set of files that contains the leave records of employees. Details of leave are recorded on standard forms filed in date order within separate files for each employee, (chronological filing). The Temp would be able to find the record of Julia Chambers' leave taken. This is a relevant filing system.
You may hold only one set of paper manual files for all records (multiple categories of information) relating to individuals. These files will probably be filed alphabetically by names as the file title. If all information you hold on the individual named on the file is simply added to the file in chronological order (whether it relates to his employment record, complaints raised by her, her records as client of your organisation, letters received from her etc.) the set will NOT be a relevant filing system. This is due to the Temp's need to trawl through all different categories of information of Julia Chambers to locate the specific document required.