As HR pros, you obviously get the importance of thoroughly (and carefully) documenting employee performance problems.
You know who doesnât? A lot of managers who oversee employees.
âAt-willâ is no excuse
This is especially true in at-will organizations, in which managers tend to think they have absolute authority to terminate workers.
But you know better, and youâve got the unenviable task of trying to get managers to see the light.
We hand-picked six gaffes from her list that youâll want to share with your managers (the list runs from bad to totally inexcusable):
So you told managers they shouldâve been documenting employee problems all along. Their first reaction may be to try to correct their inaction by creating new documents and making them look like old docs.
This almost never works — and almost always lands the employer (and manager) in hot water in court.
Any savvy IT person can look into a documentâs metadata and find out when it was actually created — and employee-side attorneys will retain such IT folks to sniff out forgeries.
5. Leaving no room to improve
Some managers hate performance review time. And to save themselves the hassle, theyâll do things like give staffers a â5â on a 1-to-5 scale.
The problem here is it leaves no room for improvement. And these glowing reviews can lead to trouble if a â5â employee is ever fired.
Example: If a worker is told sheâs performing well and is fired anyway, she could conclude that her termination was based on a discriminatory factor (race, gender, age, etc.) and sue.
4. Adding clunky language
Steer clear of legalese like âheretoforeâ and âwhereof.â If itâs not how your managers would say it, thatâs not how they should write it.
Also, avoid confusing directives like âIt would be helpful if â¦â Make sure instructions are as direct as can be.
Example:?âTurn in all overtime requests by Friday.â
3. Using email too much
Yes, itâs important to create a paper trail, but it helps to talk to employees face to face as well.
The goal should be to balance email communication with in-person contact. Or, at the very least, follow up an email with personal visits.
Anderson points out 93% of all communication is non-verbal, and those cues are missed when documentation is delivered without personal contact.
2. Inconsistent enforcement
The best documentation wonât save you in court if policies and discipline arenât applied consistently.
Sure, some employees are more likable and easier to deal with than others, but make sure managers donât let their favorites âslide.â
If theyâre going to punish one employee for being late, they should punish everyone for being late (unless, of course, thereâs a reasonable excuse).
Anderson sees it a lot: perfectly defensible job actions being overturned because someone was treated differently.
1. Failing to document
We couldnât resist. Of course, the No. 1 mistake is failing to document problems.
Even if a managerâs sure an employee will âturn it around,â thereâs no valid reason to avoid documenting. Period.
For more HR News, please visit: 6 documentation gaffes that will come back to haunt you
Source: News from HR Morning