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Productivity / Performance

Caution bosses against openly asking sensitive questions

Remind managers who feel the need to ask employees sensitive questions to do so only in a private setting. Doing otherwise could trigger a defamation lawsuit.

Six steps for managing ‘difficult’ employees

Major problems can erupt when supervisors have to manage people they just don’t get along with. Smart managers defuse that tension by focusing on tasks, projects and results—not personalities.

Tell well-intentioned managers: You must route all ADA accommodation requests through HR


Sometimes, immediate supervisors want to be helpful when a valued employee asks for disability accommodations that seem reasonable. Instead of having HR handle the ADA process, they just make the accommodations themselves. That’s a scenario for trouble down the line.

The death of one-size-fits-all benefits: Tailor rewards to generational differences


Nearly a third of HR professionals plan to alter their total rewards programs with generational preferences in mind, according to the new Top Five Total Rewards Priorities survey. That figure is likely to increase significantly in the future because the workforce is becoming more multigenerational—especially as older workers remain longer to rebuild their nest eggs.

8 rules for recognizing and rewarding employees

Surveys of U.S. workers consistently show that employees want more than a paycheck from their jobs—they want to feel safe, secure and appreciated at work. Good recognition and rewards provide employees with three things: A fair return for their efforts. Motivation to maintain and improve their performance. A clarification of what behaviors and outcomes the […]

Pay smarter: 4 comp trends for an awful economy


The global financial crisis has stuck a pin in those rosy salary predictions from last summer. The trend in pay raises is down—but not out. About 75% of U.S. workers will see raises this year, but those raises will be the smallest in three decades, says a new WorldatWork survey. Some emerging strategies:

Make solid case for axing good but toxic worker


Sometimes, an employee is so disruptive that it doesn’t matter how well she is performing her job. Constant arguments, tension and other elements of a personality conflict can poison the work environment and drag down other employees’ performance. She’s got to go!

Lawyer fired for appraisal sues for wrongful discharge


A former lawyer at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP has filed a lawsuit against the law firm for terminating his employment after he wrote a performance evaluation that criticized another associate and partner.

10 tips on setting goals for others


Ask employees to focus on razor-thin, challenging targets, and they might fail or do something unethical. Managers can avoid those unintended consequences by using this 10-point checklist when setting goals for others.

Assign HR staffer to monitor and update employees’ ADA accommodations


Don’t think it’s the end of the story once you have offered an ADA accommodation to a disabled employee and put it in place. Disabilities change, equipment fails and technology improves, making the accommodations process a continual one. Here’s what you risk if you make an accommodation and walk away without ensuring the accommodation actually works.