A Manager’s Guide to Employee Documentation

It can not be stressed enough how important it is to have thorough documentation in an employee’s file, especially prior to an involuntary termination.  You may have heard before, “If it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen” and this is often true when it comes to lawsuits for alleged discrimination, wrongful termination, etc.

The problem is, a lot of managers don’t know how to document, or even worse – what to document.

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You’re Fired! Not so fast! Know the Risks Associated with Terminating an Employee for Poor Performance

It’s a common scenario: you hire an employee for a position and after their training period they continuously make mistakes and do not meet your performance expectations. The poor performance could be for a number of reasons: they need further training, they have personal distractions keeping them from performing up to par, or maybe they’re just not the right person for the position at your company.  So you decide to terminate their employment and find a new employee to take over their job responsibilities.  Without proper documentation to support your termination, you could be facing a number of potential liabilities.

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Performance Reviews: How They Go Wrong

cancel-297373_1280One view on how to do good performance reviews:  The foundation of your performance evaluation system is the job description you wrote for each of your employees. A supervisor need only compare an employee’s performance against standards you identified in a job description to discover whether an employee does a job competently.

Your evaluation process is as simple as that.  Or is it?  Your job descriptions might be the best ones around.  But they don’t guarantee good performance evaluations.

Why? More often than not, it’s the supervisors who gum up the process by inadequately comparing an employee’s performance against well-defined job standards.

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Collaborative Goal-Setting Drives Performance

startup-593343_1280All too often, the process of establishing goals for employees in the context of a performance evaluation slides into an uninspired exercise of just going through the motions, only to provide an easy reference point for future compensation decisions.  But it can instead be an opportunity to inspire your staff to high levels of productivity and achievement.  Accomplishing that can only happen if you take the process seriously, and move beyond some entrenched myths about setting performance goals.

Here’s how you can do it.

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