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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Beware impromptu evaluations to decide RIFs

December 1, 2011

If you must cut staff, you naturally want to terminate the least productive workers and keep the most productive ones. You could make the decision on the basis of past performance evaluations. But what if there aren’t any?

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Documentation is key to winning bias lawsuits–along with clear policies, thorough investigations

December 1, 2011

When terminating several em­­ployees at the same time, make sure you have carefully documented the reasons. That’s especially important if the employees share common protected characteristics such as age. You want to be prepared for a lawsuit if they decide the real reason they lost their jobs was their protected characteristic.

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Discipline OK for stonewalling investigation

December 1, 2011

Sexual harassment allegations often come down to he said/she said arguments. Without hearing from both sides, there’s no way to figure out what happened. If one of the people involved in the allegations won’t talk, you can discipline him for refusing to co­­operate.

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New hire running into trouble right away? Document problems early and often

November 25, 2011

Once in a while, the honeymoon is barely over before a new em­­ployee starts to struggle. Since every job has a learning curve, you may hesitate to terminate right away. But you can’t ignore the problems, either.

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