Note taking must be consistent and include all significant occurrences, positive or negative. Documentation is important to support performance decisions, and notes should be written with the intent to share. In addition to documenting the details of an occurrence, any subsequent follow up should be detailed.
The performance log is a record that the manager keeps for each employee and is a record of performance "events." The maintenance of a performance log serves a number of purposes. The manager can record successes or performance that requires improvement. When it comes time to complete the appraisal, the manager has a historical record of events and will not have to rely on recent memory. In addition, this documentation can be used to support performance decisions or ratings. But it also can be used as a reminder for the manager–if the log has no recordings for a period of time, perhaps it is time to check in. If an employee does exceptionally well, or meets deadlines consistently, the log can be used as a reminder to provide recognition for a job well done. In addition, if a manager notices an area of deficiency, the log can serve as a reminder and a record of circumstances. The performance log can also act as a reminder for coaching i.e.: record of upcoming tasks, manager can make note to discuss with the employee to ensure he/she is prepared for the individual for a task ahead, and then follow up discussion can promote learning and continuous improvement.
This log should be created using the same principles of performance management and should be objective, based on observable, job-related behaviors, including successes, achievements and, if applicable, any documentation related to disciplinary actions taken.