As a Manager, You Should Be Documenting Everything

Problems arise every day in your workforce. There’s employee conflict, disgruntled people, issues with how customers are treated, and more. It’s a lot to deal with and can have a huge impact on your company. To minimize the risks, it’s important to document all of it.

While this certainly takes time and effort, it will be well worth it if questions ever arise, or worst-case scenario, there’s a legal claim. It will also help you to protect your position if you need to give answers to company leadership about performance problems, terminations, promotions, or anything else related to your employees.

In business, though, there’s already a lot of paperwork you’re dealing with. So what’s necessary when it comes to documenting? Here are a few tips to put to use and keep in mind:

Document anything related to performance.

If you have a review with an employee, document it. If you get a call from an unhappy customer, document it. If an employee goes above and beyond, document it. Essentially, when it comes to positive or negative performance, it’s important to have a record of what was said and when, as well as any next steps proposed. This includes goals, improvements, and timelines.

Document it directly after a conversation or interaction.

You might think you’ll remember what was said during a conversation. But if you wait to document it, then you’ll likely forget some of what transpired. So don’t wait until the next day or even later that same day. Documenting immediately will ensure you capture the entirety of the situation.

Document in a professional way.

Don’t handwrite a sticky note and put it into an employee’s file. Instead, make sure your documents follow a template and are professional and organized. If you’re having trouble getting it all down, write it as if you weren’t involved and simply a third-party observing the situation. Keep in mind; these documents could end up in a court someday, so they need to be high-quality.

Documents should not include opinions.

Even if you have a strong one and even if you are correct, you’re not writing an opinion piece. You’re simply stating facts and should keep editorializing out of your documents. Anything beyond this could become a problem in a legal situation.

Documents should be stored somewhere confidentially.

For instance, do not store documents on a shared drive or in a place where unauthorized people could have access to them. If it’s a hard copy, make sure it’s locked somewhere safe.

Do you need more help with these and other HR and staffing problems? Turn to Future Force. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Orlando, FL, we’re here for you with all your hiring needs, so you can focus on other priorities. Contact us today to learn more!


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