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Productivity / Performance

Employee returning from FMLA leave? Don’t demand heroic catch-up

12/14/2010

Exempt employees are generally expected to work as long and as hard as they need to in order to get their jobs done. But that doesn’t mean employers should expect exempt employees returning from FMLA leave to burn the midnight oil to get caught up if no one took up the slack during the absence. Insisting on that is an invitation to be sued for retaliation.

Beware disciplining worker who has claimed harassment

12/01/2010
Unless an employee has a poor performance history, don’t fire him a few days after he reports harassment.

Do your best to promote workplace civility, but don’t sweat faux pas that weren’t meant to offend

12/01/2010
Good employers strive to create a workplace that’s as respectful and civil as possible. But even in organizations that try their best, supervisors and managers sometimes mess up. A poor choice of words or an ill-timed joke can create tension and inflame passions. Mistakes like those don’t necessarily mean the employer is destined to lose if an employee sues.

15 ways to unlock creativity and generate ‘light bulb’ moments

11/30/2010

Whether they express them or not, your employees constantly have creative ideas swimming in their heads. How can managers get employees in the right atmosphere to generate such ideas and put them into words? Here are 15 simple steps, according to a new book, Attention!, to help you and your employees spark creativity and produce great ideas:

9 surefire morale deflators–and how to avoid them

11/23/2010

With everything on your radar during the workday, it’s easy to forget about employee morale. But keeping the team engaged isn’t something that can be ignored or postponed. To keep morale on your radar, be aware of some of the common management mistakes that undermine it. Here are nine main deflators of employee morale, plus tips on avoiding them:

9 surefire morale deflators–and how to avoid them

11/23/2010

With everything on your radar during the workday, it’s easy to forget about employee morale. But keeping the team engaged isn’t something that can be ignored or postponed. To keep morale on your radar, be aware of some of the common management mistakes that undermine it. Here are nine main deflators of employee morale, plus tips on avoiding them:

5 mistakes to avoid when recognizing employees

11/18/2010
If a star employee has ever surprised you during an exit interview by saying she had been dissatisfied with her job for a long time, you’re not alone. It’s common to find a vast divergence between employee satisfaction and management’s take on the situation. Managers frequently make five big mistakes that can send your valued employees packing. Luckily, they’re easy to fix.

The best defense against bias lawsuits: Equal treatment for all your employees

11/15/2010
An employee who thinks her supervisor is out to get her may be on the lookout for perceived discrimination. She can turn a negative performance appraisal into a bias lawsuit. The only way to prepare for surprise lawsuits is to consistently treat all employees alike and document that fair treatment. For example, performance evaluations should include as many objective measures as possible, making it easier to compare employees.

Baytown falls victim to growing age bias lawsuit trend

11/15/2010
Former Baytown municipal employee Richard Hensley is suing the city, arguing that a negative performance appraisal he received reflects a pattern of discrimination against older workers. The lawsuit argues that the city of Baytown routinely replaces older employees with younger, unqualified replacements.

Good documentation wins cases–even sensitive ones

11/15/2010
Having complete records of why you disciplined an employee often gives a court the information it needs to decide whether you’ve discriminated—or even retaliated against someone who has leveled serious charges against you.