Whenever someone new is hired, a whole onslaught of work begins. Between onboarding plans, consistent communication, and all of the human relations paperwork, it can be easy to let some things slide. However, some things are too critical to miss. One of those things is ensuring that you collect every person’s personal information and contact information for their emergency contact.
What is an emergency contact?
An emergency contact is just someone you can call if anything ever happens unexpectedly at the office. In many cases, this information sits in a file cabinet untouched until the employee moves on to a new place. In the unusual situation that you ever need access to the phone number of a spouse, parent, or friend who can be accountable and helpful, you will not regret collecting their contact information. Things like allergies, medical incidents, or losing contact with the employee are all valid reasons to access that information.
How can you collect that information?
The easiest way to gather this information is during the hiring process. As a part of the onboarding paperwork new hires fill out, just include a simple form where they add a name, relation, and phone number or email address. That is the most information you should need under normal circumstances. If that form gets forgotten in the chaos of a hire, you can ask at any time. Simply distribute papers in person and virtually, and ask employees to return their information to you by a certain date. If you really want to get them soon, provide an incentive. Reminder emails are very effective as well. Have employees each fill out those three sections. As long as you have the contact information for one emergency contact per employee, you should be set. Do not forget, respect and transparency are some of the best ways to maintain effective communication between employers and employees.
How should you keep emergency contact information in the office?
Some people prefer paper copies of the important paperwork. That way, they can access it at any time. If you have an in-person office, or deal in paperwork, a binder is a good way to keep important documents like that. A binder is also a good place to keep things, because it is easily accessible and portable in case of a fire or any kind of emergency that would require you to have those documents. If portability is not a problem, consider adding a tab into a file cabinet to collect papers. If you work remotely or lean towards online, you can make a spreadsheet with all of that important information, or a virtual folder to keep everything in order and keep files separate and organized.