We've all heard the phrase 'organized chaos', but what about the phrase 'organized system'?
Studies show that working in an unorganized and cluttered environment negatively affects our ability to focus. Still many people don't set time aside to put things where they need to go. In no time, there are boxes and paperwork piled up that will take days to sort through, as well as a never-ending inbox full of new emails. With even less time to organize than before, the constant cycle of 'organized chaos' can cost companies thousands of dollars in fines, overhead, and time.
At the beginning of this year we have noticed the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) has stepped up the amount of inspections being done for the Drug and Alcohol Testing Program. In addition, they're requiring more documentation than ever before. (Coming soon - a blog on the newly updated inspection items). Many air carriers have been caught off guard by their lack of knowledge of necessary documents they need to provide during these inspections and are scrambling to compile them before the inspection takes place.
In a time of need, misplaced records can be the same thing as never having them to begin with. This leads to fines, stress, and/or extra time spent on redoing previous documentation efforts.
A recent headline from BBC News, "NHS misplaces half a million patient documents" show us the repercussions of poor organization. Luckily as of now, sources say no patients have been seriously effected by the misplaced records, but the £2.2m to rectify the issue is certainly leaving a mark.
Ultimately, an organized filing system is essential for organizations large or small, regulated or unregulated. A couple best practices include:
• Proper labeling - whether you store your records electronically, in the cloud, or in a filing cabinet, ensure you find a standard labeling system that can be implemented throughout the organization. This includes date format, name format, and version format.
• Follow a checklist - every business has multiple processes, so work on creating and following a checklist for necessary steps and documents that need to be completed. If you're hiring, follow the new hire checklist for things like pre-employment drug testing and background check results, and then use this as a way to ensure you have the documentation you need to have on file for that individual. In addition, termination checklists are also highly recommended and a great resource to have on hand.