An example of tracking positive performance and praise of an employee in an employee performance log
A great manager needs to know the good stuff that is happening on the team. What you track shouldn’t be only areas you’d like to correct. In fact, it should be mostly positive! People come to work and try to get good things done all the time. If the manager doesn’t know what those things are, then the manager is missing lots of opportunities to provide thanks and praise. Also, the manager is going to quickly get a reputation for ignoring good work.
I advocate for creating an employee performance log to track employee behaviors. In previous articles, I provide a beginner version, an intermediate version, and an advanced version. While such a log can and should be used for tracking corrective feedback and potential issues with an employee (an example is provided here), a great manager should exert a great amount of energy identifying and understanding the great behaviors that are observed on the job, and the impact the performance of the team.
So today I provide an example of how this can be done on the employee performance log – a positive example!
In previous entries of this blog, I advocate for managers to use a log to track performance incidents of notes. I provide a beginner version, an intermediate version, and an advanced version. This is a log that can be kept in a simple spreadsheet, and has many benefits to help you become a better manager – namely – you can remember what was going on with various people on your team! Other benefits and a discussion of the potential drawbacks and pitfalls are found here.
In today’s post, I provide an example for how to use the performance log. First, I don’t advocate using the log for everything that goes on with each of your employees. This is too much work and likely will create a lot of noise for what would have been a useful tool. Instead, I advocate to use it only for performance issues that you want to track and have an impact if the behavior changes. The focus in this article is on negative behaviors that need to be corrected, but a performance log should also be used for positive behaviors that need to be reinforced.
Here’s the scenario:
Trevor has been observed sleeping during meetings. In some instances, meeting participants wake him up, and in other incidents they just started throwing office supplies at his head. This hasn’t happened all the time, but he has been observed nodding off in other situations, and his previous boss from a year ago has mentioned it to you, in a joking manner. People have told you that he has said that he’s stayed out too late a few times lately. Read more
’ve recently posted several articles providing guidance on how managers can keep a performance log of their employees. 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 after the feedback).
But how do you get started? Here’s an easy tip: Focus on documenting the behaviors that you like and praise.
Let’s not dwell on that negative stuff right now. Instead, seek out and identify the stuff that your employees are doing well, and be sure to praise the employee directly for this. Praise is quickly given and easily performed. It is cheap and it is well-received. Now, ideally, you don’t just say, “good job” or “I like that.” You have to say why it is a good job, and, if possible, what the impact is. And it still needs to use behavior-based language.
But it is also easily forgotten!
So after you perform the praise, stay on top of your game and document it in your performance log. Here are some good things that can happen:
In my previous blog posts, I provide some beginning, intermediate, and advanced fields for a manager to maintain in tracking performance and behaviors of the manager’s team members. The idea is that creating and managing a log on your employees will improve the way you provide feedback, understand individual performance, and help you remember all of the stuff that happens over the course of the year, as it’s easy to forget.
While there are many reasons to keep a log, there are also some reasons not to keep a log. Let me go through them and provide some ways to address these objections.
The Manager by Design blog advocate 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 posts, I provided the “beginner” and “intermediate” fields that ought to be in the log. These beginner-level fields focus on documenting the specific behavior using behavior-based language and the intermediate fields focus on providing performance feedback. Here are the fields:
|Item num-ber||Date||Name||Title||Con-text||Ob-served behavior||Pre-ferred behavior||Impact of ob-served behavior||Feed-back pro-vided||Feed-back date||Actions agreed to by employee||Actions agreed to by manager|
In today’s post, I provide additional columns that can be added to your employee performance log to further increase the usefulness and effectiveness of creating and managing such a log. Consider these the “advanced level” fields. So in addition to the fields above, here are the next set of recommended columns for your employee performance log: Read more
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:
In my previous post, I provided five reasons a manager should keep a log that documents an employee’s behaviors and performance. The log does not have to be exhaustive, but having a log is better than not having a log. The easiest way to get started is to use a spreadsheet. If you can handle creating your own spreadsheet, here are the fields that you should add to the log. This is the beginner version. In my next blog entries, I’ll provide some intermediate and advanced fields.
Here’s something I rarely observe managers do, but is immanently useful and helpful: Keep a log of the employee’s behaviors and performance.
Here are a few reasons why it is useful:
1) It will help you remember all the stuff that happens over the course of the year
A lot of stuff happens of the course of the year, and it is hard to remember all of the details about what happened, what you said, what the employee did, and what were the results. A week after an event, it’s easy to forget that something ever happened. And when the situation is complex, it’s even harder to remember. If you have a team larger than three people, which describes most managers, this is especially useful.