Employee performance documentation, when done appropriately, is a key tool that facilitates HR in taking important employee-oriented decisions.
Employee performance documentation is an important tool that management uses to help employees improve their performance:
- It defines the job and expected results
- Helps zero in on the ideal processes needed for accomplishing results
- Sets out performance-related goals and objectives
- Recognizes what skills and talent from which employee needs to be developed
- Helps to put a proper rewards and recognition program in place
A valuable tool for appraisals
Documenting employees’ performance and behavior on a regular basis helps management and HR build up a solid, legally sound record of the employee’s performance. This can be a powerful tool for appraisals.
Solid safeguard against potential employee retaliation
In addition to helping organizations reward good performers and track the bad apples in the lot; employee performance documentation can also be used as a strong weapon if an employee litigates against the organization. This is because properly done performance documentation can help establish that actions from the employer were based on performance alone, and not based on prejudices relating to gender, race, color or any other.
Example of a template for employee performance documentation
- Employee Name: _____________________
- Title: __________
- This conversation is intended to be:
- During 90-day Probation; ______
- Coaching & Counseling
- Formal Level of Discipline: (Verbal Warning, Written Warning, Objective Met, Suspension, Terminations, etc.) or other
NOTE: If you checked during 90-day Probation, you must also check Positive Contact, Recognition or Coaching and Counseling.
- (A)Facts:Be specific and focus on behavior. Provide date, time, what you observed, etc.______________________
- (B)Objectives:Can you use the job description to set specific, realistic, and measurable expectations?_____________________________________________________________________________________
- (C)Solutions:What solutions will you and/or the employee take to meet the objectives?_____________________________________________________________________________________
- (D)Actions:Specify timeline, next meeting date, and what actions could be taken if the employee does not meet the objectives. _____________________________________________________________________________________
- Prepared by: __________________________/_____________________
- Printed Name
The following points are thus important for preparing employee performance documentation:Facts of the performance documentation;
- Objectives of the employee performance documentation;
- Solutions suggested;
- Actions to be taken.
Elements of a good employee performance documentation system
- Make notes as soon as the need for it arises and file it with the requisite person, especially HR;
- Never postpone documentation, because as time passes, its purpose or intensity may dilute;
- Never forget to mention date and time and sign, because not doing it will have the same effect as in the point mentioned above;
- Make employee performance documentation notes in a number of mediums such as notes, discussions with concerned managers or employees, email, PDA’s, and so on.
To conclude, there HR needs to be aware of a few nuances in documenting employee performance and has to cascade these down to key decision makers. An interesting, interactive learning session (link to webinar here) can help them implement this.