Stay Current With Journal Entries For Employees
Recently we wrote about recent activity bias (recency effect). This occurs when the reviewer places too much emphasis on what the employee has done of late and fails to account for performance over the entire review period.
This is often the result of human nature, but it can be caused by a lack of information or the inability to remember specific actions or events. One aspect of performance management that is critical to helping to offset recent activity bias, but too often overlooked is ongoing documentation of employee performance. There is nothing magical about documenting performance and it is really a simple matter of memorializing specific things the employee has done or not done as they occur.
Challenges many managers have when it comes time to create a review include not remembering key performance events and not having appropriate documentation to support ratings. By creating journal entries specific to performance events as they occur, the manager has a wealth of notes to use when crafting the review.
Sound performance management systems include journaling tools that allow the creation of such notes and they provide reminders to managers so they are not forgetting to take the time to document performance. When journaling isn’t done enough or at all the quality of the review can suffer.
Taking the time to document things as they happen will help reduce angst about creating a review because the documentation provides a sound basis for ratings and comments. Managers will feel better about the completed review and the review session will be more fulfilling for both the manager and the employee.