Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Empoyee Performance and Employee Documentation

Are you a supervisor who keeps struggling with employee documentation of employee performance? When an employee is slow, appears tired, and acts sad, do you call this “depressed”? It seems more to the point and descriptive doesn't it. It just feels right, right?

Well, unfortunately you are wrong. It's not right. It's trouble! Your documentation, at best, will be criticized, and at worst will jeopardize your employer if you make these kinds of notations. Not using labels is difficult, I know, but let's discuss it and then send you on your way.

You don't learn documentation overnight. There is a little bit of an art to it. Documentation can be tricky because you must convey what you see and hear but omit what you feel and conclude. This takes practice because it is tempting to focus on other factors that are subjective and emotional. The key is to avoid drawing conclusions about personal problems, stating how you feel about the employee’s behavior, conveying diagnostic impressions, or filling your documentation with drama. These things sabotage the usefulness of your documentation for administrative purposes. To improve your documentation, consider whether it describes what is measurable or observable. Depression (a medical term to avoid using in documentation) can’t be “seen” but slow talking, days missed, lack of work progress, crying, and sad looks are observable.