The Importance of Documenting Conversations in the Workplace

Every day, we have conversations with people and then think nothing more about the words that were exchanged. In many cases, this is just fine, especially in our personal lives. But when it comes to important conversations in the workplace, it is vital that these conversations be documented and properly recorded in some sort of HR file. Why? Here are a few simple reasons.

Providing Warnings

Whether it’s a warning regarding productivity or a warning about an employee’s behavior, it is important that any reprimand given be recorded in that employee’s HR file. Even if you believe a simple, verbal warning will correct the problem, it must be noted that the warning was given in order to be able to prove that proper HR procedures have been followed.

This becomes especially important if an employee is terminated. If any questions arise regarding the motivation behind or the legality of the termination, those documented conversations become important evidence that shows an ongoing problem with the employee. This can save your company high costs that would be incurred if you couldn’t prove the termination to be lawful.

Mediating Conflicts

Occasionally, employees’ personalities and work habits will clash with one another, or a certain circumstance can create disruptive friction in the workplace. When this happens, it becomes important for an HR staff member to mediate the conflict and attempt to find a resolution. During this conversation, the HR representative should take detailed notes of the employees’ complaints and the outcome of the conversation. Copies of this conversation should be kept in both employees’ files.

This can be an important piece of documentation should the same conflict arise between the employees, and you’ll be able to readdress the issue more quickly, rather than having to rehash everything that has happened between them thus far.

Addressing Employee Complaints

Employees will often come to HR managers and other HR team members with complaints of one kind or another. This could be pertaining to a department manager’s managerial style, inappropriate behavior from another employee, or any other number of issues that could arise in the workplace. When these complaints are brought to you, it is important that you make a record of the complaint.

This can help you to notice a pattern of complaints against a specific person, if there is one, and makes it easier to ensure protocol is followed when addressing the complaint. Rather than relying on a chain of verbal communication, you can have an actual record of every conversation that occurred pertaining to that complaint.

How to Keep These Records

So, now you understand why it’s important to record workplace conversations as often as possible. But how do you ensure that these records are kept properly? How do you prevent your notes from getting lost? The answer is quite simple—use a document management system.

Whether you type your notes about the conversation on your laptop or jot them down on a legal pad, you can enter the record into a DMS by either saving the file or scanning it into your computer. You can then attach the record to the appropriate employee’s file, and it will stay there until you choose to delete it. You don’t have to worry about the notes being misplaced or forgetting to put them in the right folder. The notes you need are always on hand if you ever need to address something pertaining to an old conversation.

This will save your company time and money, while saving you a lot of headaches; after all, you already have enough on your plate. Fill out the form on this page to learn more about properly documenting conversations in your HR department.

By | 2017-01-12T09:59:23+00:00 February 8th, 2016|
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