One thing that you should remember as an employer is that everything related to your employees' performance needs to be documented. This includes any discussions or other actions based on performance issues. Keeping this documentation can help you address any claims that are made against your company that are related to adverse employment actions.
Many managers might try to skip documentation because it is time-consuming and may not seem important. You must insist that they document everything because even small infractions can be very important if you have to demote or terminate someone.
People who are terminated or demoted might make claims against your company that could be damaging. They might contend that they had a stellar employment history with your company when the truth is that they had a lot of counseling. Without the documentation to back up your claim that they had issues, you might not be able to prove that your company's actions were warranted.
When documenting issues, there are several key pieces of information you need to include. Typically, you need to detail the date, time and location of the issue. You'll also need to describe the infraction and what type of corrective action was taken. You should also make note of who witnessed the problem and any extenuating circumstances.
Even if you never need your documentation to deal with an employee lawsuit, it is good idea to have it all in place. This simple protection for your company will likely be well worth the effort that it takes to implement and enforce a documentation protocol.