You can’t keep it all in your head

Nickie Elenor, blog

Please write stuff down.

If you manage staff, issues are going to arise from time to time and you are going to need to rely on things that have been said or done before.  It’s so frustrating when you know what happened but you can’t prove it, isn’t it?

Some managers are excellent at making file notes on pertinent events and saving them in the relevant places.  I suspect that they are the minority – or they have been stung at some point in their role as a manager and have learnt the hard way that evidence is so important.

For example, if you have an employee who is persistently late to the point that you feel that they are taking advantage of your good nature and your colleagues are starting to get frustrated by them, imagine what you would say to them at an attendance review meeting.

The conversation may go like this:

You: “I need to speak to you about your time keeping as you’re late all the time”
Employee: “No I’m not!”
You: “You are and I’ve had enough!”
Employee: “When was I late?”
You: “Last week, or was it the week before…I can’t remember but you were definitely late. And you have been late loads of times before that”
Employee: “No I haven’t.  You must be thinking of someone else.”

Imagine how you would be feeling in this situation?!!!!

You may have called on your HR support for guidance on what to do about the employee as you’re really fed up with their lateness.  Without your evidence, I’m afraid you are at square one and will probably be advised to start managing the issue and making notes from now on.

…..If only you had written something down………..

  • You would have more justification for raising the issue;
  • Your colleagues will have more respect for you as a manager for tackling the issue;
  • The employee is less likely to challenge you;
  • Their time keeping may improve (because they know that you have your eye on it);
  • You will feel more confident about managing your team.

Contact us if you want one of our complimentary People Manager’s Diaries to make those notes in.


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