It does this in collaboration with management. Performance management is essentially about assessing an employee’s performance. Obviously, HR has a major part in performance management, because it is at the forefront of understanding how employees work in an organization.

It is a good practice to document staff performance. Let us examine some of the benefits of documenting staff performance:

When performance is assessed in relation to set goals, it is very easy for HR to apprise management about the actual performance that the employee was able to accomplish during the evaluation period. One good yardstick in understanding the benefits of documenting staff performance is the age-old adage, Verba volant, scripta manent. What this means is that the written word stays, while the utterance flies. This could not be truer than in the scenario of performance management.

Removes misunderstanding about goals and objectives

Where management sets out goals verbally, there is sufficient scope for misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Management may have meant one thing, and the employee may have construed it in another manner. To avoid this, HR has to document everything, right from the setting of goals to appraisal of performance. This holds up a mirror to the whole exercise and is always there to go back to for reference. This counts as one of the major benefits of documenting staff performance.

Documents opportunities given to employee

Another of the important benefits of documenting staff performance is that it affords the employee sufficient opportunities to improve his or her performance. When management feels that an employee is not performing up to expectations, it can summon that person and explain the situation. HR should be present at the meeting and should document the entire conversation. At the time of performance evaluation, it can show that sufficient opportunities were given to the employee.

What should the documentation contain?

The most important quality of documenting staff performance is that it has to be objective. It should record the entire exercise in totality and not give any scope for grey areas. Where there is scope for misunderstanding, HR has to set it right by explaining the nuances clearly. This is the basis to realizing the most important benefits of documenting staff performance: a) being a thorough reference for performance evaluation parameters; b) the actual performance of the employee, and c) the actions management took or is taking to help the employee with his performance.

References:

http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/small/Di-Eq/Employee-Performance-Appraisals.html

http://nctc.fws.gov/supervisors/emplrelations/documenting.htm

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