When building new procedures into current workflows, people begin with idealism and positivity. But when staff are bogged down in daily tasks, customer-facing activities, and putting out fires, it can be easy for new procedures to fall by the wayside before they ever turn into routine practices.

In your organization, leaving records and information management (RIM) to status-quo levels may not be ideal, but is acceptable. The storage room is overflowing, but the information you need is filed somewhere, right?

You may feel the tides starting to turn. Records and information management is more complex than ever before. The amount of digital records has exploded, and new regulatory requirements seem to occur on an annual basis. At the same time, customer expectations have heightened and the speed of doing business has accelerated, which means every minute spent searching for a record is a minute of productivity lost.

The status quo can no longer suffice. It’s time to develop a program that is legally defensible, compliant, and audit-proof. The first, most critical part of this process is winning the buy-in of your people. To build a RIM program that your employees will adhere to, begin with these three steps:

Collect feedback:

Engage departments across your organization to learn about the types of records they manage or produce, their current record management practices, and their technology “wish list” for improving procedures and workload.

Build a committee:

Create an information governance board with representatives from each department to provide input on new procedures and training needs, bring up issues as they arise, and drive adoption of the program among their staff.

Find a partner to help:

Research partners, not just vendors, who can assist with building and automation to ease the work burden and ensure consistency in how metadata is applied to each record, including lifecycle dates so that records are marked for destruction when the retention term expires with no human intervention necessary.


By listening to the needs of employees who will be tasked with the on-the-ground work of records management, you’ll build a stronger, more effective program that will be adopted for the long term.

To learn more ways to create top-notch information governance practices, read “6 Keys to an Effective Records Management Program.”


Jen Farnham is an industry leader in information governance and data compliance with over 13 years of experience in client success account management for some of the largest companies and government agencies in California.