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Communication

Employee’s poor personal hygiene puts you in a difficult situation

08/15/2011

Telling a person they have bad breath or body odor is difficult to do. That’s why so many managers toss this employee problem HR’s way. You need to toss it back to the managers.

Just looking at the caller ID, you’re already dreading answering the phone. The person on the other end of the line is …

08/02/2011
Ouch! Be glad you’re not a vendor—the people HR pros really don’t want to talk to.

All together now: Teaching workers to ‘manage’ their bosses

08/02/2011
Pay-for-performance is effective only when managers spell out for each employee exactly what he or she must do to get paid more or reap perks like flexible scheduling. In reality, too few managers do that. They need to know supervision is a two-way street. Solution: Sometimes employees must “manage the boss.”

When can we fire for offensive body odor?

08/01/2011
Q. We have a staff member with body odor so bad that other staff members have complained and even threatened to leave the company. The employee has been disciplined several times and required to go home without pay until she agrees to comply with our grooming code. At what point can we legally terminate her?

‘Can we talk?’: How to handle requests for secrecy

08/01/2011

Say one of your employees stops by your office with a troubled look on her face. She has a complaint, but wants to speak with you “off the record.” Can you comply with her request for confidentiality? Should you? It all depends on the content and context of the complaint.

On the emotional edge: 4 tips for responding to employee rants

07/29/2011

Disciplinary and termination meetings are emotionally charged events that carry the potential for nasty words, hurt feelings and even legal troubles. You never know how employees will respond. But you need to be prepared for anything. Four do’s and don’ts to defuse rants and avoid lawsuits:

One-on-one counseling helps employees understand benefits

07/19/2011
On average, 30% to 40% of an employee’s total compensation is wrapped up in benefits. Unfortunately, employees often have no idea that’s the case. The most effective way to make sure employees really understand the benefits you offer, their value and why they’re a great deal is to tell them face-to-face.

Sample Policy: Social Media

07/14/2011
The following sample policy was excerpted from The Book of Company Policies, published by HR Specialist. Edit for your organization’s purposes ________________________________ “Social media (including personal and professional websites, blogs, chat rooms and bulletin boards; social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; video-sharing sites such as YouTube; and e-mail) are a common means of […]

The art of giving positive feedback: 7 simple tips

06/28/2011

Giving feedback is an important legal and practical management task—and certainly not an easy one. Many managers make the mistake of dishing out feedback only when employees do something wrong. But praise can also be an effective motivational tool, if used correctly. Here are seven guidelines to follow:

Face-to-face counseling helps employees grasp benefits

06/27/2011
On average, 30% to 40% of an employee’s total compensation is wrapped up in benefits. Unfortunately, that information is often invisible to employees. The most effective way to make sure employees really know about the benefits you offer, their value and why they’re a great deal is to tell them face-to-face.