We’re often asked for our best advice to people managers and it’s quite simple really; prepare notes of key conversations with staff.
It doesn’t have to be a laborious task and can be a quick aide memoire for you to refer to later if required.
For example, if you have an employee who is persistently late and you’ve had a word with them several times, when you decide that they are not heeding your informal approach and you want to formalise the matter, you will be in a stronger position to act with reference to specific occasions of lateness and dates when you have spoken to them about it previously.
We hear the woes of managers frustrated with people who are underperforming, but the manager who can demonstrate what they have said and done to address the issue to date will be in a better position to progress to a performance improvement plan than the manager who can’t prove that he has ever told the employee that they are falling short of expectations and what improvement is required.
If you hold absence or performance reviews, welfare meetings, grievance or disciplinary hearings or any other formal meeting with staff, take notes at those meetings or immediately afterwards whilst everything is still fresh in your mind. A contemporaneous note is often better evidence of what was said that witness testimony at a Tribunal many months or even years later.
We offer a variety of tools for people managers to record their plans, thoughts, reminders and notes such as The People Manager’s Diary, The People Manager’s Planner, The People Manager’s Notebook and Tell It To The Judge, a tongue in cheek notebook for people managers to make private ass-covering notes in! All available to buy on Amazon if you’re looking for a last minute secret Santa present or stocking filler for your people managers.