Employee Behavior Log Template

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

What's the best way to keep track of employee performance and behaviors? Consider a behavior log! In this lesson, we'll take a look at the component of such a log and develop a template you can customize.

What's a Behavior Log?

Michael started off as a great employee who you saw potential in. The problem is, over the past six months, his performance has been spotty and his behavior has been on the decline. He is falling asleep in meetings, showing up late for work and has repeated confrontations with Doug in the warehouse.

You know that Michael's employee evaluation is coming up soon, but how do you keep track of performance and behavior issues as they happen? You don't want to get to evaluation day struggling to remember both the good - and bad - things that have happened over the past year.

That's where a behavior log, sometimes also called a performance log, comes into play. A great tool for a manager's tool chest, these logs can be as simple as a computer spreadsheet, and help document employee activities, achievements, problems and concerns as they happen. It provides a resource for dealing with situations as they arise, as well as referencing them in future evaluations.

Here are some things to consider when implementing a behavior log for employees.

Log Considerations

To begin, each employee should have a behavior log that allow for both positive and, if needed, negative commentary. Consider also the following:

1. Record positive and negative behaviors. It's important to remember both. The log should not be used only as a forum for complaints, but also document the behaviors and actions that are positive.

2. Notate the date and time of the behavior. It can not only help identify patterns of behavior, but provide a solid foundation for future recall.

3. Observe, don't assume. Keep it factual and only include behaviors or performance issues you've directly witnessed.

4. Refrain from biased language. If it's inappropriate to say at work, it's inappropriate to include in a behavior log. Things like age, gender, race, religion and disability are off-limits.

5. Be concise, but thorough. Use specific examples of good or bad employee behaviors or performance.

6. Include information about project assignments and deadlines, positive contributions, and work quality. Don't include rumors or theories, information about the employee's personal life or biases.

Here is a brief example of one type of template that you can customize for your particular workplace. Keep in mind that you can include extra categories or remove ones that don't serve your particular needs.

Building a Template

For each employee, include on the sheet their name, title, department and any other important identifying information.

The remainder of the template can follow this type of format:

Date Time Incident or Performance/Behavior Description Impact Persons Involved Action Taken

For example, a report on Michael from the opening of our lesson might look like this:

Michael Smith
Line Worker
XYZ Warehouse

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