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Productivity / Performance

Good and accurate records key to winning lawsuits early


The sooner you resolve lawsuits, the better. That’s why it’s important to anticipate problems and plan for them. Take, for example, employee records. If you can easily produce statistical information on the race, sex, age or other protected characteristics of your employees, you often can persuade an attorney fishing for a lawsuit that the waters are empty.

Get input from several managers before firing problem worker


If you have long-term employees whose performances are deteriorating, step carefully. Their long histories with the company could mean you’ll have a hard time justifying terminations even in light of poor performances. Instead of jumping the gun and firing immediately, take your time. In fact, it may be a good idea to allow more than one supervisor to witness each declining employee performance up close …

It’s disabled employee’s burden to show qualification


The California Supreme Court has made it easier for employers to comply with the disability discrimination provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The court ruled that employees must prove they are qualified for the jobs they seek, not the other way around …

Want productive employees? Let them have windows


Employees are more productive if they have windows in their work areas, according to a recent study. That’s one reason the new SAP labs in Palo Alto have incorporated lots of windows. Does it really work? …

Aging work force requires vigilance against discrimination


As baby boomers age, more Americans say they expect to keep working longer than their parents did. That means more older job applicants—and more age-related lawsuits. Defend against this coming onslaught by taking extra care to document your disciplinary decisions to make sure age isn’t a factor …

OK to discipline complainer who doesn’t perform


Sometimes, the wrong messenger delivers bad news. That’s what happens when a poorly performing employee comes forward with a discrimination complaint. If your investigation finds that the complaint has merit, but you decide you need to fire the worker anyway, how should you proceed? Aren’t you just guaranteeing you’ll be hit with a lawsuit? …

Recognize any of these 6 supervisor profiles?


The hard-driving, ruthless boss may fit the stereotype of today’s most successful corporate executive. But the most effective workplace leaders are honest, caring  and flexible. Six profiles show the full spectrum of supervisory skill—as rated by employees.

Help managers set employee deadlines: 4 do’s and don’ts


Without deadlines, employees flounder. They can’t set priorities—and can’t kick it into high gear—unless their supervisors tell them. Pass along these four tips to help supervisors set realistic deadlines for their employees.

Study: Managers overrate their own success


If you believe you’re a top performer at work, you’re not alone. An impossible 90% of managers think they’re among the top 10% of performers in their workplace, according to a BusinessWeek poll of 2,000 managers.

False move can revive expired claim—As retaliation


Employers nationwide breathed a sigh of relief when the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that employees must promptly bring discrimination claims. But the decision in the Ledbetter case isn’t as simple as press coverage may have suggested. In fact, any move a supervisor makes that could be interpreted as retaliation for the earlier, expired claim may be seen as retaliation for earlier complaints …