Protecting sensitive information about your company, your clients, and your employees is a serious business. However, many employees may not regularly carry out the proper protective measures.
A successful company will need the support and diligence of its employees against theft, fraud, and risk. Motivating employees to carry out the company's policies and be both proactive and thorough is vital to making those policies work.
But how can you encourage employees to take needed steps on a regular basis? Here are a few methods any company can try.
Schedule Time Each Day
Both managers and assistants may have a hard time fitting a low-priority task like document destruction or good organization into their busy schedule. Take the initiative and institute a mandatory, daily cleanup period for all employee work areas. This time could be at the end of each day, with employees cleaning up their desks and taking a few moments to shred documents or file paperwork.
Managers, owners, and executive staff should lead by example. But the specifics of the daily process should be decided by the company as a whole, led by the employees who will be involved.
Provide Destruction Tools
The easier it is to shred documents and destroy other sensitive items, the more likely people are to actually do it. So, assess how accessible all your shredding tools are.
Some employees, such as those in Human Resources or Accounting, may warrant having shredding boxes directly next to their desks. Other departments may benefit from having a shared shredding bin within easy reach of several different offices or cubicles. Don't overlook nontraditional sources of sensitive documents, such as the shipping and receiving department.
Shredding bins should be regularly picked up by your document destruction service so that they don't become overly full - and so that these bins don't become an unnecessary risk themselves.
Have a Quarterly Cleanup Day
Set aside a quarterly purge day. Managers of each department should plan out what boxes, bins, and documents need sorted through once per quarter. Before the quarterly cleanup day, have the IT department, Human Resources, and company management go over what types of data should be protected and where it might be found. Department managers should develop a written plan.
Schedule a shredding pickup for larger items like bankers boxes and files of a certain date range. By having the pickup scheduled in advance, you give employees a reminder to go through their stuff and provide easy and immediate resolution.
Encourage Personal Awareness
Help employees to see the value in protecting sensitive data within all aspects of their lives. For some people, the hidden dangers of data theft might not be real enough to move them to act.
Hire an expert to hold a workshop or seminar on modern identity theft, providing hands-on examples of how it can damage lives and reputations. And, if appropriate, encourage employees to use company shredding bins for a reasonable amount of personal shredding from home.
If you make data protection more personal and teach people to be more aware in all aspects of their lives, your company can reap the benefits. The additional cost for destroying a few personal items and educating employees will be minimal compared to the potential cost of a lawsuit.
Your employees are one of the best defenses against data loss and theft. Help them to see the importance of protecting sensitive information, and provide easy ways to actually implement it. The result will be less worry and potential risk for your entire company.
For more ideas on how you can boost document destruction, set retention schedules, and destroy other confidential property, talk to the pros at Shred Defense today.