Mind what you put in those emails and voicemails: a basic but often forgotten HR lesson
We’ve written in the past about the benefits of keeping good documentation in order to prevent human resources issues from popping up later on down the line, and to protect your business. Today, however, we’d like to discuss the flipside: ways to not create bad documentation.
We are talking about inappropriate comments, intentionally or unintentionally made, in company communications. In the day-to-day workplace or in the heat of the moment, a comment that can be taken as offensive, inappropriate, unprofessional or even threatening can slip out. When channeled through your official communication systems, these regrettable words can be easily saved and recorded. Then they can become documentation against the offending party…and that just might drag your organization into the mess, since you supplied the communication channel.
We found this nugget of wisdom on the matter in a great post over at HR.BLR.com:
Self-monitor mail and voicemail messages. There’s a word for e-mail or voicemail messages—“evidence.” Make sure your employees, especially supervisors, know not to say anything in e-mail or [voicemail] that they wouldn’t write on paper or wouldn’t want to be read in a court proceeding.
“You know how we tell kids not write or say anything online that you wouldn’t want to get back to your mom or teachers?” asks Tina Hamilton, PHR, president of myHR Partner. “It’s along that same vein. And don’t assume your team is aware of the impact their official communications can have. Have the conversation, and give them the tools they need to avoid issues down the road.”
Hamilton also reminds us that when managers and business owners speak and write to employees with respect and dignity, it translates into a healthier, more open workplace environment. It has a positive impact on morale and employee engagement, and it makes coming to work each day a better experience for everyone.
Make sure your managers are well trained in proper employee communications.
myHR Partner has a wide range of training offerings that will help you educate your managers so that they can play a pivotal role in protecting your organization and its brand. Beyond being good for business, some states, like California, require periodic harassment training as well. We can also help you access your current policies and practices to make sure your organization is prepared to handle issues that might come in the future. Contact us today for more information.
Whether you are looking for workshops on harassment and documentation, or some other HR need, our team is ready to assist you. Click here for more on our dynamic and customizable training programs.