Alison West thinks every HR pro should keep a pen and paper with them at all times. “It will help you get into the habit of documenting,” she said at the SHRM Conference in New Orleans. “Always have a pad of paper on you and on your desk.”
An employment law attorney, West believes documentation is crucial to keeping a workplace running right—ensuring fairness, promoting good performance and, most important, winning in court if an employee sues you.
Being able to prove your side of an employment law case usually comes down to whose story is most believable. Having good notes and files on what happened, who was involved and how you handled the situation will often carry the day.
“The more documentation you do, the higher your credibility,” West said. “It’s what judges and juries expect. Agencies like the EEOC will give you the benefit of the doubt if you have good, factual documentation.”
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