Most employees are allergic when they hear the term “Incident Report” or the dreaded I.R. That instantly brings up pictures of getting disciplinary sanctions.
Amusingly enough, as I was doing an ocular visit in one of my client’s restaurants, a waiter dropped a tray and a couple of plates came crashing down. His fellow waiter said, “Hala, I.R. ka na naman kay Ma’am!”
But I’d like to share another use for I.R.’s which I share with workshop participants.
By itself, I.R.’s are pretty neutral. They’re like money. It gains an effect or character in the manner you use it. And nobody ever said that I.R.’s are supposed to pertain exclusively to bad things happening in the workplace.
Here’s my proposal: use I.R.’s to cite good behavior as well as bad.
“Hey, Alexa worked thru lunch just to finish that proposal that the client needed today!” Give Alexa an I.R. for going beyond the call of duty today.
“Wow, Robert really did well with his presentation today. He hit that pitch out of the ballpark! The client’s loved him so much!” Give Robert an I.R. for giving that exemplary presentation.
“I can’t believe how fast Chari was able to arrange the event for our board of directors. Her fast organizing skills ensured that the board meeting pushed thru flawlessly from the room reservations to the food! Spectacular!” Then give Chari an I.R. for a job well done.
I hope you’re able to see how the I.R. can take on a different character just because you apply it to good things that happen. I can assure you. Nowhere in the Labor Code does it say that I.R.’s are limited to bad stuff. This is legally compliant with our laws.
Also, just like bad I.R.’s, employees should be given copies of good I.R.’s for their records so they know you saw the awesome thing they did.
There are 3 distinct advantages when you adopt this suggestion.
First, you have a clearer picture of how an employee behaves for purposes of evaluating their performance. Since both positive and negative incidents are reported, all evaluations you give are more objective and credible.
Second, this is a fantastic way to motivate your team. Once they note that you are consistently documenting the good things they do, what do you think will happen? Of course they’ll go the extra mile for you.
Third, you’ll see your employees in a new light. I’m a firm believer that what you focus on expands. Once you set out to actively look for good things to give a positive I.R. for at work, I can guarantee that you’ll find good performance multiplying without you having to exert that much effort.
How do you operationalize this suggestion?
To start applying this new I.R. modality, just add 2 checkboxes at the top of your existing Incident Report forms. One checkbox says Positive, the other Negative. This way, you still utilize the current forms you have at the office. No wastage. This also makes things simpler to apply because you only need one form.
So, do you think this can be a game changer at work? Give it a try!