If there's one thing I always tell new employees, it's this: documenting is your best friend.
Have a problem employee? Documenting from day 1 can take letting them go that much easier. Employee does amazing work and tackles multiple projects with ease? If you write it down, performance reviews will be a breeze and you won't risk forgetting important accomplishments. Alternatively, if performance wasn't up to par, documenting can make your evaluation objective and fair. Want to stay on top of all the projects your team is on? Document with project management software, emails, or even a giant whiteboard behind your desk! When in doubt, document.
To demonstrate, let me share the story of the first person I ever fired. When I was promoted, I started creating performance metrics for all of my staff. I wanted to make sure that I was objective in my evaluations of staff and could keep an eye on their performance. To my surprise, I discovered that one employee had done no work in the past 8 years. Absolutely zero- his job was to delete records and none had been deleted in 8 years. I was flabbergasted.
Had this been caught in his first year on the job, perhaps he could have been retrained. However, because I caught it so late and previous conversations with supervisors were not documented, I had to start from scratch and go through the process of a PIP. Moral of the story, document from day one. Don't let problems marinade for years before taking action. By recording issues from the day they start, you can help to catch issues early and make your job easier in the long run.
Is there a time you wish you had documented? Share below!
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