You're a Documentation Machine

Kyle Kirkland
If you're like most senior managers and HR departments, you want your line managers to do a better job documenting interactions with their crew, incidents and investigations and compliance training. You love your people, but every so often, one of them steps out of bounds and it seems like you never have complete back-up to support the discipline if it goes beyond counseling. It's not your fault—no one taught you or your staff how to document in the management training program and you don't even have the right tools. Plus, no one's got time for that when they're in the weeds of a busy shift and no one likes a tattletale. Sound familiar? I'm not buying it.

Your staff didn't miss the opportunity to upload a pic of that awesome burger to their Instagram feed or check in to Facebook from that concert, did they? They text like they were born with a smartphone attached and can find and retweet the latest meme, no problem. They're comfortable with watching highlights of their favorite team and they'd be tweaked if ESPN didn't update their fantasy football feed in real-time. They don't hope the highway patrol officer takes their word that they have a license and registration and wouldn't wander back into Best Buy with a return without a receipt. They forward links of websites, videos, PDFs to their friends—and make a list before they hit Costco, right? Can't document?  Again, I'm not buying it.  Your employees are documentation machines!

The key is bringing that same documentation culture into the workplace. See an incident or safety hazard? Shoot a picture of it and text HR. One of the crew calls in sick? Screen cap the text and send it in. Had a meeting with the crew over safety or compliance training? Take a group selfie for corporate. And chances are your bartenders, security guards, cooks, customer service reps, drivers, whatever, have a list of tasks that you're asking them to complete on shift. It's not hard to ask them to date and initial tasks upon completion to keep the team accountable.  Smartphones with a data plan are cheap and ubiquitous, so the tools for photos, text, email and mapping are at their fingertips.  You might need software that helps you organize all that info by employee, but there is such software available.

JobStats cloud-based employment documentation software allows managers to document workplace related issues, organized by employee. JobStats is intuitive, easy to use, accessible from any device, secure, fact and reliable and fosters a culture of documentation. Using JobStats, your staff can document incidents, training, meetings, notes, time off requests, task lists and their completion, all tied to the employee and organized in chronological order in the employee's record.  Your staff will build employee work histories and performance that will guide and support decision-making, reduce defense and insurance costs and give everyone better peace of mind. You'll still have employment challenges, but you'll be in a better position to defend your company and reputation.

About the author

Kyle Kirkland is President of Brick HR, Inc., the developer of JobStats documentation software. As owner, President and General Manager of Club One Casino in Fresno, California, Mr. Kirkland has extensive experience managing employees in gaming, food and beverage, facilities, security, administration and managerial positions. He has direct experience in dealing with the challenges California employers face and how to mitigate the related risk. Mr. Kirkland is also the president of the California Gaming Association, a non-profit trade association which represents California cardrooms.

Prior to joining the gaming industry, Mr. Kirkland served as the chairman of Steinway Musical Instruments, the world-renowned musical instrument manufacturer, a position he held for 17 years. Earlier in his career, Mr. Kirkland worked at Bain & Company, an international management consulting firm and Drexel Burnham Lambert, an investment bank specializing in high yield securities. Mr. Kirkland has served on the boards of several public and private companies and non-profit organizations.

Mr. Kirkland holds an A.B. degree from Harvard College magna cum laude in Economics and an MBA degree from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

He can be reached at


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