Documentation is King
A system for documenting employee performance is essential to creating and maintaining a great culture. This includes advising your Field Leaders to praise in public and follow up with a quick note to HR. However for our purposes here, we are focusing on the times where employees misbehave and when that happens, the system necessary for handling it. Being clear in expectations and clear when someone is not meeting them creates that culture of feedback.
When someone is late or they fail to demonstrate your company values, what happens next? Start with communicating these actions or behaviors to your HR department.
First, consider how the action is handled at the moment. Ensure Crew Leaders are trained on how to handle these types of things. For example, instead of witnessing something and reprimanding the employee in front of the whole team (and potentially the customer), instruct your leaders to make note of it, pull the employee aside later on and mention it to them in a private conversation.
Then challenge your Leaders to ask themselves, what are my next steps:
- Who should I notify? How should I communicate with them?
- Does the employee understand they did something wrong?
- Where is that information saved?
A tip is to set up an HR@yourcompanyname. Crew Leaders can very easily write up a simple email in the field, with no fancy forms or paper trails. One of the most crucial aspects in terms of documentation for HR is to make sure that whoever is writing sticks only to the facts and keeps it simple. There is no editorializing in an HR write-up, only facts. This is essential for a number of reasons:
- Clarity to the employee
- HR Understanding the situation
- For future reference when looking back on an HR
Here are some examples of how information to HR should and should not be written.
Good Write-Ups Are Simple Statements of Fact
“Steve was 15 minutes late for the second time this week. He was also late on Monday (2/24) which was communicated then. I informed Steve today that if he is late one more time this month he will no longer be employed at our company.”
“Today I discovered Joe smoking on the customer’s front lawn. Once I noticed it I asked him to put out the cigarette as we were given specific instructions from the customer to not smoke on the property. This is the first time I’ve seen Joe smoking on a customer’s front lawn”
Bad Write-Ups Give Little to No Factual Information and Are Mostly Wrapped Up in Opinions or Emotions
“John came in today and started cracking jokes. I know he’s a pretty funny guy and we all like John very much, but I just wish he were more focused on the task at hand”
“Mike is such a jerk! He doesn’t have any respect for anyone and thinks he can paint better than anyone else on the team. He’s not even the best painter we have. By the way, did I mention he was late 3 times a few weeks ago? I just can’t stand him and he needs to learn how to respect me and the rest of his team members”
Be sure to have a system in place to document performance now, so a Culture of Feedback is in place before you’re in too deep and struggle to change the habit. Questions? Reach out to your Coach for help!