Important fields that an employee performance log should contain – Intermediate Level
The Manager by Designsm blog advocates that people managers should keep some sort of log, easily created in a spreadsheet, that tracks the behaviors and performance of their employees. I provide a few reasons to do so here. In my previous post, I provide the initial fields that get you started in the log. These beginner-level fields focus on documenting the specific behavior using behavior-based language. Here they are:
|Item num-ber||Date||Name||Title||Context||Observed behavior||Preferred Behavior|
In today’s post, I provide additional columns that should be added to your employee performance log to increase the usefulness and effectiveness of creating and managing such a log. Consider these the “intermediate level” fields. So in addition to the fields above, here are the next set of recommended columns for your employee performance log:
Impact of observed behavior
This is necessarily more interpretive than the “observed behavior” section. Describe what, if any, impact there has been from the observed behavior. Use it wisely! It still should be descriptive in terms of behaviors engaged by you or others. Examples may be: 1) Creates the need for follow up 2) Creates the need for extra meetings for clarification 3) Creates the need for re-work 4) Created complaints from co-workers, 5) Created a delay etc. Or they could be positive things, of course! How about “Proposal was accepted”, “New key relationship forged,” “Sped up the time for a new team member to be productive.” If you can’t identify the impact of the observed behavior, then don’t enter anything in this field. It’s a clue to you that perhaps the observed behavior isn’t a big deal one way or the other.
This is the summary of what performance feedback, if any, you’ve provided to the employee about the incident in question. You do not have to have a one-to-one relationship of incident to feedback provided. For example, you may have noted behavior that is cause for concern, but it is yet to be a pattern, and there have not been any negative impacts. Then you don’t necessarily need to provide feedback yet. The log will reveal whether you are documenting a lot of “concerns” but not providing feedback. This field should include what you expect the employee to do differently.
Date Feedback provided
This is necessary, especially compared to the date of the incident field. You want your feedback to be as specific and immediate as possible, and if there is a long date range between the date of incident and the date feedback provided, you can do better. It needs to be soon enough after the observed behavior for the feedback to be meaningful.
Actions agreed to by employee
This should be a description of the actions, if any, that the employee plans to do differently than before, as a result of the feedback conversation. The employee, of course, has to agree to this.
Actions taken by Manager
Sometimes you, the manager, has to do something differently as a result of a feedback conversation, especially when the feedback situation is complex. For example, as part of this feedback discussion, you may agree to assist the employee in preparation for a meeting or presentation. If the goal is improved performance by the employee, this is where you can identify what you can do to help.
At the “intermediate level”, the employee performance log tracks what performance feedback you provide to the employee, as well as the expectations for change moving forward. With this, you have a deeper understanding of what the issues are with your employee, the feedback you’ve provided, and the steps for improved performance by the employee, with the added boost of what you are expected to do to help the employee improve.
|Item num-ber||Date||Name||Title||Con-text||Ob-served behavior||Preferred behavior||Impact of ob-served behavior||Feed-back pro-vided||Feed-back date||Actions agreed to by em-ployee||Actions agreed to by manager|
In my next blog entry, I’ll provide the “advanced” columns for your employee performance log. Yes – this log can have even more columns. This blog isn’t about taking short-cuts, but about taking the path for being an effective manager. Stay tuned for the next level of columns in the employee log!