Documenting employee discussions is a very tricky and at times painful activity for organizations. While it is crucial for HR for a number of reasons, it is a difficult habit for the other employees to imbibe. Documenting employee discussions is important from a legal perspective, because this makes the case strong and defensible.
The old Latin phrase, verba volant, scripta manent is the basis for all legal proceedings around the world. What this phrase means is this: What is uttered flies, while what is written stays. How true this is in the world of law, where everything is based on evidence! In organizations too, this principle is the foundation for deciding on actions against employees and for defending lawsuits that they may bring up against employers for unlawful actions.
Documenting employee discussions is crucial as it provides vital evidence
Documenting employee discussions is the right approach to take in an organization, because it is easy to first of all deny anything that is crucial to a decision about an employee. On top of it, it is easier to interpret and contradict any statement, making a verbal utterance a very weak basis for decision-making for management. When a verbal exchange has taken place between employees and is set to become the reason for a major management decision, using such a fact weakens the case.
On the other hand, documenting employee discussions is a strong basis for organizations whenever a legal proceeding takes place against it. Surely, an organization that bases its case on strong, documented evidence has a much stronger chance at defending itself legally than one that has only verbal or oral utterances as its source for actions.
It is difficult to make the habit of documenting employee discussions grow into employees
However, documenting employee discussions, no matter how important it is for HR and for organizations themselves, is a habit that is difficult to inculcate in employees. Some employees are not serious enough about documenting employee discussions, being unaware of the repercussions of not doing so. Others may simply overlook this activity for a number of reasons.
Employees need to be made aware of the need for documenting employee discussions, because of its importance to the employees themselves in the event of a legal proceeding. The point that documenting employee discussions serves as the basis on which court cases are either won or lost needs to be drilled down into employees. They need to be made to understand that it is employees themselves who stand to gain when they make a habit of documenting employee discussions.
Learn the importance and ways of documenting employee discussions
For its part, HR needs to make employees understand the need for documenting employee discussions and to also help them understand what all need to be documented, and how. The proper ways of documenting employee discussions will be taught at a webinar that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the HR industry.
At this webinar, Michael D. Haberman, a consultant, speaker, writer and teacher and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. a consulting and services company that offers complete human resources solutions, will be the speaker. To gain the full benefit of Michael’s experience in the HR industry and to understand the need and ways of documenting employee discussions, register for this webinar by logging on to
At this session, which will provide participants the information needed to be better able to document employee discussions and defend the organization from loses incurred due to poor documentation practices; Michael will cover the following areas:
- How and why documentation is good
- Meets the legal requirements of Federal statutes
- Provides a record of interactions with employees in order to provide better recall of what was said and done
- Helps knowledge retention. You do not need to have the original parties to have a recollection of the event or conversation
- Provides the legal documentation needed to defend the company in a lawsuit
- We will talk about how documentation will get you in trouble
- What is necessary for good documentation
- We will talk about what tools can be used