Types of Information to Track - Instructions and Procedures
The ultimate fault for any wrongdoing will be with that person—so long as you followed their instructions to the letter. Having a copy of instructions and procedures may not stop a coworker or manager from saying that you should have read between the lines and taken some undocumented steps, but it does go a long way in showing that you followed the proper course of action. Remember not to skip any steps in someone’s procedures or instructions. If you think steps are unnecessary, ask before not deleting them! If the person gives you the go-ahead to skip steps, get it in writing! Send an email confirming they’ve okayed your revised procedures. This will avoid confusion later and will help clear up ultimate accountability for any problems that may develop later.
If you are given instructions verbally, write them down and read them back to the person before they leave your office. After that, follow up with an email that will give that person the opportunity to point out any steps you’ve missed or any misunderstandings with how you should proceed.
Having a copy of instructions and procedures may be very important for a complaint that may develop at a later time. For instance, if someone is accusing you of incorrectly performing your job or of simply not knowing your job, copies of official instructions and procedures can help demonstrate your compliance with the requirements of your job and can show that the accusations against you are blatantly false.