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Why You Should Update Your Document Retention Policy in 2024

Do you have a spouse or partner that likes to change things around in your home every so often? The days that follow are spent going to the old location, remembering that the item has been moved, and training your brain to remember the change. Eventually, you get used to the new location and may even think that the change was beneficial (even if you don’t admit it).

When you’re focused on accomplishing everyday scheduled business tasks, it’s easy to lose track of time, and before you know it, things can become outdated. If this is a challenge you face with your document retention policy, you’re not alone. With 2024 quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time to update that policy.

What Is a Document Retention Policy?

A document retention policy sets out a company’s expectations for how its employees should manage company information from the moment it is created or acquired until it is destroyed, also referred to as “cradle to grave.”

Why Do We Need to Update Our Document Retention Policy?

1. Change

Even if you are slow to change, the world will continue to change without you. It’s vital to review your organization’s record retention policies and practices frequently to ensure they comply with federal and state legal requirements. Having an inaccurate or outdated retention policy is almost as bad as not having one at all.

Don’t have a policy yet? Now is the perfect time to make that happen.

2. Improvement

Since you first put your retention policy together, the needs of your organization may have changed. Your records retention policy should evolve along with your organization.

3. Effectiveness

When your document retention policy isn’t up to date, you may be storing information longer than necessary, which can result in operational inefficiencies, increased costs, and legal and security risks.

4. Access

It’s important to limit access to information. Only those who have a legitimate need for that information should be given access. Unrestricted access to information can render your organization non-compliant with data privacy laws and at risk of a data breach.

5. Organize

When there is no document retention policy, information can be stored in the wrong location, removed and never returned, or even stolen with no one the wiser. In contrast, having a system in place for all staff to follow can prevent these issues.

6. Purge

When you create your document retention policy, use that opportunity to initiate a plan to reorganize and purge files that are redundant or already past their retention period. Work with a secure shredding provider to ensure compliant document destruction.

7. Invest

Invest in a relationship with a full-service records and information management provider that will store, protect, organize, track, and retrieve your documents and destroy them automatically at the end of their retention period. Finding a company that provides both of these services, and more, under one roof is the best solution.

Records Management Center provides safe and secure records management, document destruction, and much more to organizations in Augusta, Evans, Thomson, and Martinez, GA, Aiken, SC, and the Central Savannah River Areas. Simply call us at 706-724-7982 or complete the form on this page to get started!