Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Having a Hangover is Not a Performance Problem

That's right. It's not a performance issue to have a hangover at work. If I told you, "I have a hangover," you could not use that statement for effective documentation concerning my job performance. It wouldn't fly. However, if I had my head down on my desk and you said, "What's wrong?", and I said, "I have a hangover", then nope, that still would be a performance issue. So what's the problem? 

 The performance issue is my head on the desk and not working.

Some EAP programs are still not training supervisors effectively enough to get this across. Listen, this is crucial. Don't risk getting human resource professionals upset that you do not know how to properly teach supervisors how to document.

Documentation is not useful to HR when language is subjective, not measurable, open to broad interpretation by others, or contains emotional language that demonstrates the writer's emotionality and personal distress.

The focus will shift from the employee to the supervisor by officials (typically HR) who must examine your documentation or in other ways act on it. If they can't act, they are going to get very upset. That's not good for you, your EAP, your organization, or the employee.

Second-hand reports by others are almost always problematic as well, unless specific in their account with evidence to back them up.

Using a term like “hung over” has no common interpretation, (especially if you have never had a hang-over.) It is not a “job performance” problem to be hung over. The behaviors associated with being hung over, of course, could be problematic. These are the behaviors that should be documented. Use this example in your supervisor training and you score big points, having convinced your supervisors what is at stake in constructing proper documentation.

You may want to visit the supervisor training solutions page.