“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
Three reasons why you need to follow up in writing
- Conversations disappear into the ether – the adage, if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen may come home to roost – unpleasantly.
- It is a contemporaneous note of your communications/agreed actions.
- 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.
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 – email@example.com