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Good documentation just doesn’t happen by accident. Left to our own devices, many of us probably think we have better things to do than write down what the weather was that day, fill out the performance log or, dare I say, update the schedule. After all, there’s work to be done. However, it only takes one time in litigation to change that mindset. In addition, the reality of a dispute resolution forum is that who’s right and who’s wrong may not determine who wins the case. It can come down to who can present the best documents to support their case.
Here’s a typical scenario: An issue arises with an employee. A couple of meetings take place and the positions are laid out. Resolution doesn’t occur and tempers may flare. What happens next? Usually, a letter-writing campaign ensues. The manager and the employee state positions and fingers get pointed. It turns into a he said/he said situation.
Sometimes, the situation is even reviewed by counsel (a good idea, by the way, if the stakes are high and relations strained). Every document may be read by someone. It’s important that we think of third parties that might eventually read our documents and what would they say? Think of the old cliché, “timing is everything.” It’s true in the case of documentation. It’s important that everyone be timely with all forms of correspondence. Review the policies, the handbook and any updated procedures.
An employee's record of documentation is a written account of his or her actions, discussions, performance coaching incidents, witnessed policy violations, disciplinary action, positive contributions, reward and recognition, investigations, failure to accomplish requirements and goals, performance evaluation, and more.
Maintaining these records allows the employer and employee to preserve a written history of the happenings and discussions that occurred around a specific event. Documentation of the employment relationship provides a written record that may be necessary to support such actions as employee promotion, employee pay raises and disciplinary action—including employment termination. Your credibility as an employer and as an HR professional, is largely dependent on keeping and maintaining accurate documentation.
Anyone who is responsible for human resource records will benefit from this webinar.
Dr. Chartier is the Principal of HRinfo4u, a human resource consulting firm, and a well-known educator and speaker. As a consultant, he works with organizations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their human resource function. He has worked extensively in designing, developing, and implementing human resource program, procedures, and systems for smaller and mid-size firms up and down the Hudson Valley.
Greg is a thought-provoking professional speaker, and his wisdom and insights into management and leadership make him an electrifying speaker and seminar leader. His seminars are customized to reinforce company mission, vision, values, and culture, and the content is practical for team leaders, managers, supervisors, and executives alike. Dr. Chartier has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, an MBA in Finance, and a Ph.D. in Human Resources. He is a National Member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and is certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR), as well as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) by SHRM.
Greg served on the board of the local SHRM Chapter, the Westchester Human Resources Management Association (WHRMA), as the Treasurer for nine years. Also, Greg served on the Board of the Business Council of Westchester in a variety of capacities and continues his service as the Chair of the Human Resources Council. He also serves on the Board of the Child Care Council of Westchester. He works with the Continuing and Professional Education Program at Pace University and is a member of the faculty of the New York Medical College, where he teaches in the Masters’ in Public Health Program. He is the author of What Law Did You Break Today? A guide to the federal laws and regulations that employers must comply with.