Managing employees can often seem overwhelming and complicated. We can spend what seems like endless hours learning “people” techniques from various sources. Our mentors, direct reports, professors, peers and even our employees all have ideas, theories or opinions on how to manage staff. Sometimes we find ourselves overcomplicating our approach to such an extent that we can risk losing even our star performers.
Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of the latest – but often complicated and time-consuming – employee retention strategy, we might want to take an easier, yet surprisingly effective, approach to managing and developing our employees.
One of the simplest methods is to keep a supervisor’s diary. The diary can be an e-journal, a scribbler, or a folder full of sticky notes, as long as it contains a record of employee activity – good and bad. When it comes time to provide constructive feedback, the record is easily referenced.
The supervisor’s diary can be used for several different purposes:
- You will have your notes to reference when ready to complete a performance evaluation or in a disciplinary situation;
- During your objective and professional development planning discussions, your notes can serve as an important decision-making tool to assist you and your employees with their future growth and development;
- When deciding on successors, your notes will serve as a reminder of how each of your potential successors has performed over time;
- From a legal perspective, the notes you keep will most likely protect you and your organization in the event that a legal claim is filed against you and/or your organization by a dissatisfied or terminated employee.
It is important to remember to record both positive and negative behavioural and performance traits of your employees to ensure that your diary acts as an effective reference manual.
Taking a few moments to record important details about an employee’s performance is quick and easy. Having the facts at your fingertips gives you the tools you need to effectively manage your employees at any time.
“Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein