The three most-repeated HR mistakes made by management

2. Poor or no record keeping

Good record keeping is part of the workplace landscape, especially from a compliance point of view.

But documenting employment activities such as training, feedback, performance or conduct issues is equally important. Unfortunately, it’s usually put off or not done at all. Yet unless you have clear and accurate records, it’s impossible to speak with any authority about a particular matter, especially if it was several weeks or months ago.

Just to give you an example, a part time teacher agreed verbally with her employer, one of our clients, that she would be paid a certain rate for her work. The parties agreed verbally that this would include periodic off site duties (visiting other schools for example), but that there would be no extra payment for these activities. The agreement was not confirmed in writing and the following term, they had a nasty surprise when the teacher wrote to her employer demanding a number of overtime payments which were not in the budget.

While a verbal agreement is just as binding as a written agreement, it’s much harder to prove and they had to agree to make retrospective payments. Always evidence such agreements in writing with dated correspondence.

Recording informal discussions about performance or conduct is necessary because it proves that you have taken reasonable steps to correct under-performance or misconduct and shows that it is now appropriate to move to a formal exploration of the problem.

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