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Productivity / Performance

Turning underachievers into overachievers: How to spark the turnaround

Every manager has employees who perform below standard. They’re not terrible employees, but they’re not achieving the quality or quantity of work they’re capable of. Try these tips for letting underachieving employees know what’s expected and get them moving in the right direction.

OK to discipline, even after harassment claim


When employees face progressive discipline and think they might be fired, they sometimes suddenly start complaining about alleged sexual harassment. The underlying reason may be legitimate—or it may just be a ploy to stop discipline. It doesn’t mean all discipline has to be put on hold.

After firing, counter frivolous lawsuits with solid documentation of poor performance

Fired employees have nothing to lose by suing a former employer. And employers have no way of know-ing what frivolous claim a former employee may file. That’s one good reason to make sure you document poor performance.

Top management wants to ax ‘troublemaker’? Beware wrongful termination retaliation

There are some things employers just can’t do, no matter what a senior manager may want. For example, you can’t punish a good employee for pointing out potential legal violations.

Tell bosses: Include details in evaluations

Here’s an important reminder for supervisors: Details count at evaluation time, especially if poor performance will lead to a performance improvement plan or even discharge.

Performance improving? Let probation continue


Here’s a warning to employers that use a progressive disciplinary system: Follow it—for everyone. Cutting the process short except for good, solid reasons is asking for trouble. Performance improvement plans are a good example.

New boss raises the bar? Give worker a chance to improve, discipline if she doesn’t


Some supervisors are more forgiving than others. Many times, that means a marginal employee may never improve until a new supervisor arrives and insists on better performance. If that happens and the employee struggles to rise to the occasion, be careful before you terminate her.

7 ways to limit your social media liability


Online social networking sites provide a variety of benefits to organizations. They can help you collect industry-based knowledge, reach new customers, build your brand and publicize your company’s name and reputation. But those benefits come with their fair share of legal risks. You need a comprehensive social media policy to guide employees on your expectations about their online behavior.

Be wary of hitting employee with sudden criticism after FMLA request

Here’s something to watch out for when approving a supervisor’s recommendation to discipline or discharge an employee. If the employee has re­­quested FMLA leave and was previously performing well, be suspicious of claims that she’s now performing poorly.

Back ‘gut’ decisions with objective criteria


Most managers want to choose the best candidate for the job. But assessing what constitutes “best” can often feel a bit subjective. That’s OK. Just make sure you can point to some objective factor that backs up your choice.