Employee Write-Ups: Do's and Don'ts for Documenting Employee Performance
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Make sure you are correctly documenting employee's performance to protect you from a potential lawsuit.You may have had the urge to say to an employee, "I've had it with your performance. You're fired." But wait, have you correctly documented the employee's performance to support your position in a potential lawsuit? This topic will assist you in understanding what to do and not do when documenting an employee's performance. Termination is one of the most difficult things a manager must do and that is why managers give leniency on performance. Documentation of the employee's performance is critical and can make the difference between a defense verdict and a large jury award.
AuthorsJackie A. Sexson
Employee Write-Ups - the Do's
• Do Establish Clear Performance Expectations
• Do Focus on the Facts
• Do Review Patterns of Problem Behavior
• Do Write a Specific Plan for Improvement
• Do Follow-up
Employee Write-Ups - the Don'ts
• Don't Be Too Vague
• Don't Diagnose Why the Employee Is Performing Poorly
• Don't Include Your Mental Impressions and Emotional Comments
• Don't Embellish on the Documentation
• Don't Apologize
Other Considerations in Documenting Performance
• When Is the Best Time to Document Performance?
• Documenting Behaviors Rather Than Attitudes
• Maintaining At-Will Employment
• What to Do With the Documentation
• When Should the Performance Documentation Lead to Discipline vs. Termination?
• Supervisor's File vs. Personnel File
• Avoiding Discrimination and Harassment Claims Through Documentation