Remember when your full operation was run from a spare bedroom in the basement? Then you outgrew that space and moved to the loft above your uncle’s fish and tackle store. From there you finally earned the keys to your very own storefront.
What happened during those transitions was the creation of your company’s heritage and history. Chances are those photos, files and other corporate memorabilia are now hidden away in boxes - destined to never be seen again.
All that information represents your accomplishments and details the motivations and insights used to roll up your sleeves and build your company from scratch. Those hard-earned blisters and the sweat on your brow comprise your inventory information of experience. Don’t let it go to waste!
If used strategically, this heritage and history inventory can motivate employees and build company pride. Plus, this information can be used externally for public relations and advertising strategies.
Depending on your organization, archiving certain documents may be a legal requirement for tax purposes and to document copyright ownership requirements. If the information is destroyed or buried in a warehouse, it could cost your company money and/or rights to proprietary and intellectual property.
Hosting an annual employee party based around your grand opening date can boost morale in two ways. First: It is an excellent time to present awards such as “Employee of the Year” or highlight a department that met a difficult goal. Second: Celebrating your corporate “birthday” can build employee confidence by reviewing where the company has been and where it’s going.
Instead of spending your valuable time hanging historical photos on the wall, your efforts should be focused on your overall business plan. Shop around for a reputable archival and records management system that will suit the needs of your business.
Hiring a third-party firm to create and safeguard your heritage and history will prove to be both a fiscally and professionally smart investment. Most of these firms have a vast network of oral historians, professional archivists and history writers that are available full-time or on a project-by-project basis.