A manager should document employee performance and behavior in order to facilitate the performance management process. Such documents are transitory and should be maintained in a supervisory file.
A best practice is that managers adopt a process of documenting what is directly observed and notable about an employee’s performance as well as content of informal conversations with employees about their performance and/or conduct. These notes should be factual, objective, dated, written in a timely manner, and cover both positive and negative observations and discussions. Having these notes will improve the manager’s ability to write a thorough annual performance review including examples and dates. Additionally, having documentation showing when a manager provided improvement feedback or coaching to their employee helps to determine when a move to formal corrective action is appropriate.
The supervisory file should be reviewed and purged of unnecessary documents on a regular basis. For example, performance notes should be discarded following delivery of the annual performance reviews. Drafts of performance reviews and corrective action should not be maintained.
Any documents that reference an employee’s medical and/or health issues are private and should be maintained in a separate file.
Department HR maintains a separate employee file (personnel file) that contains documents such as the employee’s application, resume, signed offer letter, annual performance reviews, formal corrective action, signed employee notices, etc. Everything in the personnel file is a document already seen by the employee. Current employees may review their employee file upon request.
Supervisory files are subject to the Open Records Act and are discoverable in the event of litigation.