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The Shared Drive from Hell

Jason Ennor, Co-founder and CEO at MyHR
by, Jason Ennor, Co-founder and CEO at MyHR

Where is that damn policy… Jason takes a look at better HR document management and cloud storage.

Once-upon-a-time marketing departments used stock images of a frazzled looking corporate person, sitting at a desk piled high with paper, to illustrate the pain of bureaucracy and to inevitably to sell some sort of filing or document management system – queue counter image of corporate person now playing golf.

This image still pops up from time-to-time and may still be relevant for some paper-based industries. But the reality for many businesses, big and small, is that the messy desk has been replaced by the shared drive from hell.

Many gigabytes or terabytes of information loaded onto a server or in the cloud in a way that is completely indecipherable by day-to-day users. Excellent folder titles like:

  • Admin
  • Miscellaneous
  • General Items
  • New Policies [dated 5 years ago]
  • New New Policies
  • Archive 1, 2, 3 & 4
  • … and the list goes on

Well-meaning IT people or diligent administrators try to fix the issue by controlling access, until they realise all managers need access and they’re the ones making the mess!

There is an entire industry dedicated to document control, which is relevant in certain highly regulated environments, however usually translates terribly to “normal” businesses just trying to keep everything together. Massively long document control codes become as complex and unintelligible as the folder titles on the shared drive.

Cries of “where is that damn [insert document name]” echo across the workplace and HR departments cry-out when the “Instant Dismissal Form – 1971” is used to justify some dodgy action.

Like most things, the solution is simple:

  1. Use software to do the work for you.
  2. Use document formats that cannot be edited (other than to enter form fields or sign), like pdf.
  3. Store these documents in the cloud to ensure that day-to-day users cannot remove or corrupt originals – they download what they need leaving the original behind.
  4. Have one system administrator (in-house or outsourced) who will make sure old documents are replaced with new.
  5. Don’t have visible folders for “Old Files” or “Archive Items”.
  6. Only allow meaningful folder titles – everything has a place, there are no such things as “general” or “miscellaneous” items.

The MyHR “My Business” space provides a fully controlled environment where managers and business owners are able to access their current, up-to-date documents. It avoids confusion, reduces risk and saves a lot of time.

MyHR’s set-up service, which includes our industry proven HR health-check, provides you with a full review of all your employment documents, recommendations and system set-up, including the establishment of your own My Business space so you never have to wrestle with a shared drive again.

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