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Recognition & Rewards

Promote staff volunteerism, but not for firm’s benefit


Q. Our CEO just implemented a new employee evaluation goal based on their volunteer work throughout the year. The more they volunteer, the higher the points they receive on their review, ultimately increasing their salary. Can we do this without risk? —T.M., Maine

Overrelying on employee referrals? Beware of the legal risks

Employee-referral programs have become one of the most successful and least expensive recruiting strategies. But even with their popularity, employee-referral programs can be double-edged swords.
Relying too much on employee …

Tap into employee brainstorms via suggestion program

Issue: Employees have great ideas every day. Is your organization tapping into them? Benefits: A properly managed suggestion program can improve morale, increase …

Include cash rewards in employees’ taxable income


Q. When we win contracts, we recognize employees with cash awards. But these awards may be given to only the select few employees involved. Is this legally OK? —G.J., Alabama

Cut Health Costs by Telling Staff to ‘Take a Hike’


A Michigan auto supplier, Freudenberg-NOK, launched a Walk for Wellness program that rewards employees for reaching walking and other exercise goals …

Don’t link vacation bonus to exempt workers’ hours


Q. Can we give an exempt employee extra vacation days in addition to the standard accrued time off outlined in our employee handbook? —T. L., Maryland

Give your health plan a discrimination checkup

If you have a group health plan, now’s a good time to make sure it doesn’t discriminate against any worker. Reason: New federal nondiscrimination rules are set to take effect with …

Cure sick-leave abuse

The percentage of sick days taken because workers see them as a use-it-or-lose-it entitlement has doubled since 1995, according to a new survey by CCH Inc. As a result, the cost …