How to manage employees who are grieving

December 29, 2011
When an employee experiences the death of a family member or close friend, it’s tempting for supervisors to take a hands-off approach to the em­­ployee’s grief. However, silently waiting for the em­­ployee’s emotional recovery isn’t the best strategy. Take the following four steps to sensitively manage grieving employees and their impact on co-workers.
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Politics around the watercooler: Can you discipline ‘overly political’ workers?

December 26, 2011

While today’s Iowa caucuses feel like the end of a long campaign season, it’s really just the beginning of a heated political year … one that could spill over into your workplace. Follow these tips for handling political activity in your workplace and employees’ political advocacy outside of work.

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Employee ideas help create a safer plant

December 20, 2011

Higher-ups at The Timken’s Co.’s Manchester, Conn., plant are leaving it to employees to find out what ails the power-transmission products firm—and to fix it. The organization recently took home top honors in a “Find It-Fix It Challenge” sponsored by the workplace-improvement organization Humantech.

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Manage health, retirement spending with employee education

December 19, 2011

As benefits continue to become a bigger portion of labor costs, employers are responding by offering more health education and financial advice to em­­ployees. According to a new report by WorldatWork, 45% of surveyed organizations report that senior executives consider turning em­­ployees into educated consumers of benefits a “very high” priority.

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Motivate high performance by promising rewards

December 13, 2011
Employee recognition programs aren’t quite as popular as they once were, but the 86% of businesses that use them find that rewards and in­­centives can still spur sales, improve retention and employee loyalty, and raise productivity during an era of slim pay raises and uncertain bonuses.
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Get ahead by drafting your own ‘career annual report’

December 6, 2011

What have you learned and accomplished in the past five years? If you can’t answer that question, you’ll have a tougher time planning your career development … and maybe making that next great career move. Use this template to create an annual report that can help collect your thoughts each year.

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Your detailed records: Keys to legal victory

December 2, 2011

You never know which employee will file a discrimination lawsuit. These surprise lawsuits often allege that the employer disciplined ­others outside the employee’s protected class less severely for the same transgression. Protect your organization by providing detailed reasons for any discipline at the time it occurs.

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Keep consistent records of all disciplinary actions

December 1, 2011
You must track all disciplinary actions. That way, you can quickly determine whether your discipline has been equitable.
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Court: Retirement isn’t constructive discharge

December 1, 2011
Do you worry that encouraging someone to retire when he’s facing disciplinary action could backfire? Relax. In most circumstances, a voluntary retirement that isn’t pressured or forced because of a threat of imminent discharge isn’t considered a constructive discharge.
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Log problems, improvement efforts before terminating

December 1, 2011

Occasionally, you’ll run across an employee who has a hard time performing up to expectations and won’t accept suggestions to improve. If he belongs to a protected class, you may worry about a lawsuit if you terminate him. That shouldn’t be a problem if you take the time to document problems before termination.

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