Important fields that an employee performance log should contain – Intermediate Level

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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.

Feedback provided

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!

Related Posts:

Helpful tip for managers: Keep a performance log

Important fields that an employee performance log should contain – Beginner Level

How to use behavior-based language to lead to evaluation and feedback

When an employee does something wrong, it’s not always about the person. It’s about the system, too.

Providing corrective feedback: Trend toward tendencies instead of absolutes

Behavior-based language primer: Steps and Examples of replacing using adverbs

Behavior-based language primer for managers: Examples of how to improve employee corrective feedback and how to get rid of damaging adverbs

Behavior-based language primer for managers: How to tell if you are using behavior-based language

Behavior-based language primer for managers: Avoid using value judgments

Behavior-based language primer for managers: Stop using generalizations

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About Walter Oelwein
Walter Oelwein, CMC, CPT, helps managers become better at managing. To do this, he founded Business Performance Consulting, LLC .


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  1. […] my previous blog posts, I provide some beginning, intermediate, and advanced fields for a manager to maintain in tracking performance and behaviors of the […]

  2. […] You can either go beginner level (start tracking behaviors to check for trends and impact), intermediate level (track your performance feedback), and advanced level (track the change in behavior and impact […]

  3. […] Important fields that an employee performance log should contain – Intermediate Level […]

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