Selling Records Management to Your Supervisor

Whether you are new to records management or an experienced records management officer, you all face or have faced the following question: “How do I make records management relevant in my office?” Depending on your office environment, knowing when and how to talk to your office leadership about records management can be challenging. Your peers in the records management community may give you the best advice on how to solve this problem. Beyond their recommendations, here are some tips on how to show the relevance of records management in your office:

  • Prioritize priorities. Know what your supervisor’s top priorities are, and how an effective records management plan can support their priorities. In other words, show how your efforts are intertwined with his or her efforts.
  • Highlight your accomplishments. Talk to your office leadership about what has been accomplished since the implementation of your records management plan. If you have a records management team, then be sure to highlight their accomplishments ahead of yours. This action brings relevance to your records management efforts.
  • Share instances of cross-departmental collaboration. Emphasize how your records management plan enhances the day to day operations within the office. Stress how the collaborative efforts with other departments help build this plan.
  • Show areas of growth. A records management plan is a living document. Because it is a living document, there is always room for improvement. Discuss some areas that you are trying to improve. This will show that you understand the operations within your office, and you are making an effort to fix any current or potential issues with your plan.
  • Create more opportunities. Make the most of every opportunity to show your supervisor how you are effectively managing his or her records. This can be accomplished through special records management projects or special events showcasing your records management efforts.
  • Prepare and rehearse. Take the time to prepare for the meeting with your boss about records management. Generate talking points and align them with the overall operation of the office. Anticipate questions, and above all…Practice.
  • Fulfill your purpose. You must treat this meeting as your opportunity to have a serious conversation with your supervisor about records management. Be meticulous in your preparation, having a goal defined.

Remember, every meeting with your supervisor is a chance to achieve some desired result. Although a records management plan may take a while to yield changes within your office, you must be able to communicate a plan that 1) meets your supervisor’s top priorities, 2) shows cross-departmental collaboration, and 3) highlights areas of growth.

The following links provide some additional tips on promoting a records management program:

  1. Records and Information management for Legislators and State Agencies/Universities Educational Materials Companion Information – RMICC
  2. Records and Information Management for State Agencies and State Universities – RMICC

Let us know what successes or challenges you are having in selling your records management plan.

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