follow up in writing

Follow up in writing

“Follow up in writing, Dawn!”

My human resources manager, Daria* would regularly call out from the back of the office as I would finish advising another manager. I would roll my eyes – again and think to myself that woman loves an email. In spite of how I felt at the time, I am forever grateful for her discipline.

Your future self will thank you

Daria, knew something, that I was yet to discover, that is, my future self would thank me for documenting my actions. I cannot tell you how many times that ‘follow up in writing’ practice has helped me to document and retrieve information regarding:

  • the actions I have taken
  • the advice I have given
  • file notes
  • information to respond to employment tribunal claims

I was talking to Daria about, it some years later and she described it as covering your bottom, but she used a different word!

It can become a conduct issue

Failing to keep appropriate records and, documents can potentially become a conduct issue dealth with under the disciplinary process.

Three reasons why you need to follow up in writing

  1. Conversations disappear into the ether – the adage, if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen may come home to roost – unpleasantly.
  2. It is a contemporaneous note of your communications/agreed actions.
  3. You may need to rely on your records in the future.

In a timely manner

Remember, what Daria used to shout out to me from the back of the office? Well, she meant do it now! I can’t emphasise the timeliness of your actions enough. Even if you are busy, write a brief note to the yourself or the other party explaining that a fuller record will follow, within a few days.

Follow up in writing, it’s a practice worth adopting.

*Daria – name has been changed.

© Dawn H Jones

Hello, I’m Dawn. I am an HR consultant, coach and blogger. I hope you found this blog useful if you’d like to receive regular content, we’d love to have you – press the subscribe button.

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Please note that this post does not constitute specific HR or employment law advice if you require help please contact an appropriately qualified professional or drop me an email  – dawn@hopeplace.co.uk

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