How to Secure HR Confidentiality and Model a Culture of Trust

While the title of this post almost sounds counterintuitive, as transparency and trust go hand-in-hand, it’s your legal and ethical responsibility to keep certain tangibles secure. Insubstantial filing systems and unorganized processes can contribute to putting your employees’ confidential information at risk of becoming public knowledge. If this scenario becomes a reality, it may result in a significant loss of trust.

HR confidentiality procedures to safeguard documents

Keeping employee information confidential requires you to establish an effective process and get everyone—especially management—on the same page. To accomplish this, create a thorough orientation process for your management team on confidentiality policies and procedures. In addition to verbal communication, it’s important to document everything on paper. Creating a written policy on confidential employee information will give your management team and employees something tangible to approve, verifying that they agree and understand all company policies regarding confidentiality.

Once you have established policies and procedures in place, don’t lose sight of them once management is looped into the process. Instead, schedule annual trainings for all managers so they stay on top of new threats, policies and procedures and are trained to respond to any risks.

To strike risk at its source you can distribute nondisclosure agreements to anyone directly involved in your organization, such as contractors, partners and employees. And, while it may sound simple enough, integrating physical and virtual locks on confidential information is the first step to keeping it safe.

Keep confidential employee information secure

“The increasing popularity of cloud computing will have far-reaching effects on the data management systems of many companies,” writes Caryn Tijsseling in a contribution to Training Magazine. “One area where cloud computing can have a major impact is on the storage of Human Resources (HR) information and records. In fact, recent studies indicate that up to 84 percent of surveyed companies either are transitioning or planning to transition their Human Resources functions to more accessible and affordable data management systems such as cloud systems.”

While migrating sensitive information into the cloud isn’t the only means of keeping your data safe, it provides employers with the opportunity to access information remotely in a centralized system, as well as keep track of a number of different important documents all under one roof. At the same time, you can manage permissions at the individual level, so that certain documents can only be seen or edited by approved individuals—a format that is significantly more secure than offline spreadsheets, which can be forwarded.

How to instill a culture of trust at your organization

Your employees need to know that they can trust your policies and procedures. If you make yourself available, and take the time to help your employees understand your mission and the processes you have put into place, they’re more likely to trust in you and the direction the business is following. Simply put, being clear and transparent from the very beginning can go a long way.