Prominent mistakes in HR documentation (1)

Prominent Mistakes in the HR Documentation

HR has a wide gamut of activities in the corporate world. Starting from recruitment and training to retirement or termination, HR has a very prominent role to play. The success of HR lies in recruiting the best human resource, training them to make the most of available resources, assigning them the most suitable job role and keeping them motivated through various policies while scrupulously following all government regulations.


Yet, this is just a broad contour of the HR role. HR has to engage with the essential facets of an employee’s work and life for the duration of his or her employment with the company. This may well include any incident that may arise out of a certain employee’s behavior, performance, violation of policies or conduct rules, sexual advances to female colleagues, etc. HR documentation about all these positive as well as negative facets of an employee’s engagement with the company can help the management take an informed decision. This may include promoting or terminating an employee or even starting an inquiry or go for judicial action against an employee.


However, there are some common HR documentation mistakes which can put a spanner on all the hard work done by the department and may result in a loss, discomfiture or problem for the company. To avoid this you must know which are the most prominent HR mistakes?


Using Labels Without Examples

If there are instances involving an employee where he or she has been booked for bad behavior or conduct unbecoming of an employee, you need to use the labels along with the examples in the HR documentation. Simply describing the behavior of an employee in vague terms like ‘bad attitude” etc does not bring out the true conduct of the employee. In case the HR department is not able to do so, it may result in the employee:

  • Not accepting his or her responsibility and blaming others.
  • Resisting management directives regarding conduct, which in turn may affect all employees or members of the concerned team.


Using Codes for Labeling Conduct

Simply describing an employee as – suffering from lack of commitment, unfit, a misfit in corporate culture or not a suitable team player, etc in HR documentation may land the management in trouble. This is because the employee may be a woman with childcare responsibility or a member of one of the protected classes.


Focusing on Intent Rather Than the Result

HR makes mistakes of focusing on the intent of employees rather than result by focusing on things like – lack of effort, lack of care, etc. This may make employees nurse a grouse against the HR which may result in counter attacks  

Emphasizing on Why Rather Than What Happened

Charges like poor performance after returning to work or depression in HR documentation is fraught with potentials for litigation since you may infringe upon certain privileges available to the protected class.


Using Terms Like: Never, Always, etc.

Using such absolute terms are prone to challenge since these are hard to prove, especially if they have been used for members of the protected class. Such terms may be construed as targeting individuals because of them being under a protected class.



HR documentation is essential in growing a business. Not only is the growth of a business or an organization, but HR documentation is also helpful in employee satisfaction in the concerned organization.


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