Documenting Employee Performance Expectations is NOT Micro-Managing

Instead of using “letter to file” as a step in progressive discipline that is feared, begin documenting the discussions to build on the employee’s growth as they overcome challenges.

Leaders can be using expectations memos as a tool to ensure clarity over what was discussed when coaching an employee. Instead of using “letter to file” as a step in progressive discipline that is feared, begin documenting the discussions to build on the employee’s growth as they overcome challenges. Refer to the document to showcase where they are gaining traction and where they still need to focus on improving. Transparency reigns when you give a copy to the employee for their own reference. Learn how you can use it as a positive coaching tool following the initial discussion.

1. Outline expectations in writing.

  • The both of you need to understand what is expected, when it is due, and under what conditions.

  • When it is in writing, there is no room left for misunderstandings or vague-ness about expectations.

  • Coaching is easier, when the manager can refer to a document mutually agreed upon versus “don’t you remember when I told you this last week?”

2. Review expectations in detail and expand when necessary.

  • There is no room for “that is not how I understood it”, so clarify it up front.

3. Meet regularly and have the document available as a “check list”

  • Ensure the employee knows that the check-in meeting is scheduled and that you will be reviewing it.

  • When the business owner is too busy to micro-manage, use the expectations document during conversations to check in on progress.

  • The discussion becomes about the expectations document, not an owner “hassling” a staff member.

Whether you know exactly the program you need me to train or you don’t know where to start at all, please call or email. We can confidentially chat out any situation. You are welcome to complete the assessment to guide your free consultation with Julie, but it is not required. I’m here for you.

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