Observing performance is important prior to constructing documentation. Observing performance means being alert to decline or undesirable changes in your employee's performance.
- The essential duties, functions, and behavioral expectations of one's position are the legitimate concern of the employer, and are typically evaluated. These include: quality of work, attendance and tardiness, conduct and appearance, attitude and demeanor, and availability to perform one's duties.
- Don't participate in armchair diagnosis of employees. Do not "analyze" their performance troubles to determine personal causes. Likewise, do not "rule out" a personal problem, and unwittingly decide that the EAP could not help the employee. This is a common mistake for supervisors, and it is another example of armchair diagnosis.
- It is okay to ask an employee what is causing a performance problem. This is not acting like an armchair diagnostician. However, it is important not to discuss the personal problem if one is disclosed.
- If you know your employee well, it is tempting to analyze behavior and involve yourself in his or her personal problems. This is a form of enabling, and it reduces the likelihood that your employee will use the EAP.