7 Key Skills and Attributes every Electronic Records Manager absolutely should have!

7 Key Skills and Attributes every Electronic Records Manager absolutely should have!

The Electronic Records Manager fulfils a significant role within the organization.

Duties range from managing the physical and digital records to reducing of records volume and storage costs. Implementing a Records Management System ensures efficient retrieval of records. Records Management and Retention Policies and Procedures ensure regulatory compliance and business continuity. Moreover, automating workflows, saves time that would otherwise be used for storing and searching of records.

The Electronic Records Manager develop and implement a Records Management System customized according to the specific needs of the business or organization.

1. What is an Electronic Records Manager?

Unorganized stack of books. This is why you need a n electronic records manager!

Do you store your records this way? Then you need an Electronic Records Manager!    Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

The Electronic Records Manager is responsible for effectively managing the records received and created within an organization. They must organize, maintain, and protect the information in records. Both in paper and electronic formats. Firstly, by creating a user-friendly and economical system for the management of the organizations records. This ensures that information can be easily retrieved and is authentic and accurate. And secondly by determining a retention schedule and how to dispose of records safely and securely once due for destruction. Electronic Records Managers must be dedicated to professional development – not only their own but also career development of those within their department.

2. What does an Electronic Records Manager do?

The Electronic Records Manager keep track of what information are created within the organization and where it is located. They manage access to records through user permissions to ensure confidentiality and security. The Record Manager also train staff regarding Records Managing Policies and Best Practices. It also includes administrative duties such as budgeting and the strategic co-ordination of information resources (physical and digital).

3.  Top Skills and Attributes of an Electronic Records Manager Records Manager?

3.1 Information Management Skills

Information skills required will vary according to the industry within which your organization operates. But you need knowledge about privacy and data protection. This will help you to work better with the legal department, since you understand the legal obligations placed on the organization through various information laws.
Process automation are used to save time by automating processes in areas like active records, data protection and vaulting, and by determining the secure destruction of records. And, by automating processes for document management and imaging.
Metadata can help to retrieve records more effectively by adding metadata describing content, context, and structure of records. This can easily be established by asking questions like who (e.g. creator of document), what (photo, image etc.), when (date and time of creation), where (location) and why. Metadata management means establishing a standard or even publishing a list of metadata tags to be used for the various electronic files used within the organization.

3.2 Commitment to professional development

Quote: Love to Learn

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

To be effective, an Electronic Records Manager needs to constantly research and learn about advancements in the field. This includes knowledge of industry specific software. And staying updated on current legislation regarding data protection and the freedom of information.
Networking with other professionals in their own and related fields helps them to stay up to date with new developments. But also create an understanding of how records management fits in within the bigger picture. In doing so, it gives them a strategic advantage to be able to foresee and adjust to changes that can affect the way records are stored and managed.
This also means passing on their knowledge and mentoring others within their organization. As well as providing on-hand training to those in their department. Helping them to advance their careers and make the records management process more effective.

3.3 Communication skills

The Electronic Records Manager needs to be able to communicate effectively with the C-suite regarding the importance of effective records management. As well as budget requirements for the necessary equipment and software required.
Effective training and communication with colleagues, ensures their compliance with the Records Management Policies and Best Practices. Thereby ensuring a better and more efficient records management system.

3.4 Good negotiation skills

Having good negotiation skills helps the Electronic Records Manager to:

– Build better relationships
– Deliver lasting, quality solutions
– Avoid future problems and conflicts

To negotiate effectively, the Electronic Records Manager must be able to be flexible and creative. Effective communication and planning skills will help you to state your case clearly and outline viable solutions. Be honest and aim for a win-win solution.

3.5 Analytical mind

Electronic Records Managers must be able to analyse the organization and the different records they create. They need to know the different departments within the organization and how they all fit in the organizational structure. And establish if and how information creation and usage between this departments overlap. Doing an information or records audit, will help them to identify the distinct types of documentation the organization create and acquires. Using this information will help to establish the Records Management Policy, as well as the Retention Policy. It will also help to source the best physical storage system. And implement an efficient Electronic Records Management System.  Ensuring user-friendly and effective systems and workflows help to gain the co-operation of everyone involved in implementing and using the Records Management Systems.

3.6 Problem Solving

Electronic Records Managers faces many challenges like:

– keeping track of physical records in boxes
– creating reports about location of files and statistics
– keeping track of records through their life cycle
– no or inefficient records management system
– the software used for records management is not user-friendly
– Inefficient retrieval due to input errors

That is why Electronic Records Managers must have patience and perseverance to be able to carry on looking for solutions to implement to solve these challenges. And attention to detail skills to prevent many of these from occurring.

3.7 Honesty and Integrity

Honesty and integrity are the most important skill for a Electronic Records Manager. Since they work with many sensitive and confidential records of the organization. Aside from signing a Confidentiality Agreement, having honesty as a core value, will prevent them from divulging confidential information, which can put the business as risk.


We can see that Records Management is an important and essential function within an organization. The Electronic Records Manager is a skilled professional in charge of Records Management. Depending on the size and needs of the organization, an individual can be employed by the organization. Or, in the case of smaller businesses, this function can be outsourced to a Virtual Assistant – specializing in Records Management.

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Electronic Records Management (ERM)
Jun 29, 2020

As a researcher and module writer at UNISA, I became overwhelmed by the sheer number of articles on my hard drive. Susan developed a system to organize all the material which enabled me to find any article that I needed. I now can easily add every new article to my system. Susan provided exactly what I needed. She was professional and delivered every time within our timeline. I can highly recommend her and will certainly make use of her services again.

Get in Touch to find out how I can assist you with your Records Management needs!

5. Sources

1. GradIreland Records Manager
2. Three leadership skills every records manager should have
3. Automated Records Management System
4. Metadata in Electronic Records Management
5. 6 Common Records Management Challenges
6. Four Skills Every Modern Records Manager Must Have Right Now
7. Negotiation skills
8. Careers in Records Management
9. Records Management 101: Why Is It Important?

Susan van der Walt Photo

I am a Virtual Assistant specializing in Electronic Records Management. Let me also help you with General Admin, Proofreading, Microsoft Excel, and Basic Photo Editing. I would also love to create a photo book of your precious memories.

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