Nobody goes into an HR, or management, position in the hopes of one day getting the chance to document an employee performance issue. But, effective documentation is a necessary aspect of legal compliance for employment records, and part of our responsibility.
Fortunately, with some practice, and following guidelines outlined below, successful performance documentation can be learned. Why I say it is an “art” is because, when HR or a manager is able to frame the conversation about the performance issue in a positive manner as an “opportunity for improvement” and get the employee’s buy-in to commit to change – not an easy feat! – then they have mastered this “art”. Discussing performance issues can become powerful coachable moments rather than unpleasant compliance requirements.
When you’re in need of documenting a performance issue, here are some guidelines to remember:
When you’re ready to discuss the documented issue with an employee, make sure that:
Remember, treat performance issues as “opportunities for improvement” and emphasize that the organization is in support of everyone being successful. Use effective documentation to support a solid corrective action plan and use this time to have a meaningful conversation with employees that focuses on the future and effective change.
Have you had run into any difficult employee issues that have been hard to document? Has HR been a helpful resource at your organization? Share your stories below!