Devora Lindeman was quoted extensively in an article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): "How to Address the Challenge of a Problem Employee."
In the article, Devora offers guidance about the importance of documentation, and offers practical advice about best practices. “Following up [a performance conversation] with a confirmation in writing not only cements the importance of your message, but also creates a formal record of what was communicated and can be used to show that the individual was treated fairly through what’s known as workplace due process.”
“Note that at this stage, you won’t necessarily have to add the consequence language: ‘Failure to demonstrate immediate and sustained improvement may result in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment,’ ” said Lindeman. “However, you can reserve that for a more formal progressive disciplinary action down the line should the problem continue to recur.”
“Email makes for the ideal communication channel for same-day summaries, letters of clarification, memoranda of understanding and the like because it’s so easily accessible and serves as an electronic record with a date and time stamp that can be used to defend the company’s position in court should wrongful termination litigation ensue,” Lindeman said. “Inviting the employee to acknowledge receipt and ask additional questions or make suggestions at that point strengthens the ‘due process’ record and your organization’s affirmative efforts at helping the individual comprehend the nature of the problem and his or her obligations to improve performance to your stated expectations. Juries want to see that the company acted fairly and gave the employee clear expectations and opportunities to improve.”
Click here to read the full article on SHRM's website.