• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly

Productivity / Performance

How to become a great manager, the Google way

01/23/2012
Google, the king of search engines, recently set out on a search of its own—to identify the qualities that make the highest quality managers at Google Inc., and then to replicate those qualities across the entire company. The end result: a simple, yet ele­gant, list of eight management practices that the best Google managers consistently do.

‘Garage-sale overdose’ and 12 other outrageous reasons for missing work

01/10/2012

Have you seen a lot more empty seats around the workplace these days? When asked to share the most unusual excuses their employees have given for missing work, employers offered the following real-life examples …

Special performance measures deviate from usual practice? Be sure to document reason

01/09/2012
Courts don’t want to second-guess employers unless they feel they have no alternative. When an employee charges discrimination based on different treatment because he belongs to a protected class, the court first looks at the employer’s rules and tries to see if they have been enforced consistently.

No real effort to improve? It’s time to fire

01/09/2012
Some employees don’t take direction well. One approach turns such employees around: Insist that the employee sign on to a performance improvement plan. If he refuses to cooperate, document that refusal. You can then safely terminate the employee for insubordination.

Ready to fire worker with poor attitude? Document examples before you deliver pink slip

01/02/2012

If a supervisor believes an employee has such a negative attitude that it warrants firing, do your HR duty! Immediately ask for documentation of the problem. It can’t wait until after the termination occurs. After-the-fact, subjective assessments may not survive a court challenge.

Ensure FMLA leave doesn’t affect evaluations

01/02/2012

When employees lose their jobs, they often look for a reason to sue. One common tactic is to argue that a layoff was used as an excuse to get rid of “unproductive” employees, especially those who take advantage of their right to FMLA leave. That’s why HR must develop a performance-appraisal system that documents that having taken FMLA leave wasn’t a factor when you evaluated employees’ work.

Different pay for men and women? Prepare to explain ‘other than sex’ factors

01/02/2012
The federal Equal Pay Act (EPA) is supposed to ensure that men and women doing the same job aren’t paid differently based on their sex. But employees can’t win EPA lawsuits simply by comparing their rates of pay and job titles. Lots of factors unrelated to gender may in­­fluence pay.

Carefully track angry employee’s complaints

12/12/2011
Do you have one of those em­­ployees who are never happy and always seem to find something to complain about? It may be tempting to ignore the constant complaining or chalk it all up to personality conflicts, but that would probably be a mistake. Carefully document the tension and your response.

Get ahead by drafting your own ‘career annual report’

12/06/2011

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.

Log problems, improvement efforts before terminating

12/01/2011

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.