Many employers struggle when it comes to properly documenting employee performance and behavior, as well as documenting employee disciplinary actions.
When it comes to performance problems, proper documentation is necessary in the event of a lawsuit, but is also essential in preventing and resolving unemployment claims. We have compiled a list of the most important documentation rules.
Detail the conduct that needs to change. Stick to objective observations and record details about the behavior, not the person. Be sure to include specific examples of the inappropriate behavior.
Refer back to the specific job description (this is where a signed job description comes into play) and how the conduct of the employee is not meeting the goals, policies or standards defined in the job description.
- Employee’s explanation
Documentation should also include the employee’s side of the story. This will not only show that you are being objective by having a two-way conversation with the employee about the issues at hand, but it will also keep the employee accountable for his/her actions.
- Action plan
Develop a detailed action plan. Be sure to include a list of steps the employee plans to take to correct the issues and what your team will do to help the employee.
Be specific about the time the employee has to correct the issues. For example, set a specific date for a follow-up review, and state that it should be free of behavioral/performance issues.
Once it is appropriate to bring punishment into the discussion, detail what actions will be taken if the problems persist.
Follow-ups with employees are essential to show progress and fairness with performance issues and disciplinary actions. Follow-up meetings should entail (and document): the performance being reviewed, what improvements the employee is to make, what training (if any) will be provided, and what consequences/actions will be taken if no improvements are made.
For further assistance in creating a customized documentation program for your organization, contact Alternative HR at 717-855-5589.