Failing to effectively communicate with your employees isn’t just bad for business. It also can create a work environment that’s ripe for legal trouble. If you take time to communicate, explain your actions, stay involved and make the workplace seem rational to employees, you will increase your chances of staying out of the courtroom.
Below are five of the most common errors that land employers in court—along with tips on how to avoid making them in the first place. As you’ll see, communication lies at the heart of all of them.
1. Failing to document performance issues
Remember this: Arbitrators, judges and juries will believe one document over 10 witnesses. Your documentation doesn’t have to be formal or perfectly written, but it does have to be understandable, contemporaneous—and dated! Many employment cases—especially those involving retaliation claims—hinge on timing issues alone.
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