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Productivity / Performance

Objective evaluations get lawsuits dismissed

The quality of your performance evaluation process—whether it is objective or subjective—can determine how a discrimination lawsuit turns out. Handle evaluations improperly, and a case can linger for months. Do it the right way, and the case may be dismissed immediately …

Keeping employee’s performance up during a divorce


Q. “One of our employees is going through a divorce. She’s making more mistakes at work and is overly sensitive to constructive criticism. I think she needs a vacation—can we require it? Any suggestions on how to help her without sacrificing job performance?” …

Are workers fully engaged? Ask right questions to find out

Many organizations conduct periodic employee engagement surveys to check the  pulse of their work forces. Surveys can accurately measure engagement, but only if they include the right questions. If you’re creating your own survey, use some of the following 17 questions that go to the heart of the issue …

How to measure an employee’s ‘intangible’ traits

As part of the performance-review process, supervisors are typically called upon to evaluate employees on the basis of intangible factors, such as cooperativeness, dependability and judgment. The higher up the organizational chart, the more important those traits become. Yet most supervisors find intangibles the most difficult factors to evaluate, probably because they seem so personal. […]

Absence from boss doesn’t make employees fonder

Telecommuting isn’t for everybody … or every job. Contrary to popular belief, employees don’t relish time away from bosses as much as you might think …

17 Questions to Determine if Workers are Fully Engaged

Don’t think you can pick out disengaged workers from a lineup. Employees usually check out mentally long before you spot the obvious signs—poor productivity, absenteeism, lousy customer service. Find out whether your employees are fully engaged in their work by asking them these 17 questions.

5 survival tips: Seek employee help to weather the recession

It’s not easy for employees to hear that economic tough times mean they’re not getting a pay raise or that their jobs are in jeopardy. Having to deliver the bad news may be almost as hard. Here are five ways to make the most of a difficult situation—and invite employees to be part of the solution.

If accommodation can’t enable essential functions, termination may be only option

Being qualified for a job doesn’t mean the person can do it well. And the inability to really execute an essential job function can warrant dismissal, even if the employee claims a disability. Take, for example, a newly hired professor who turns out to have psychological problems that prevent her from teaching class …

HR & the Slump: The 3 Big Trends Affecting Employee Relations

While all economic cycles share certain features, they also have unique effects. What’s different for HR in the 2008 downturn versus the last one? Here are three distinctive characteristics of the current economic slump that are affecting your employees—and potentially reshaping your HR programs:

Handle disabled worker’s poor performance like any other

Employees who have disabilities sometimes pose special challenges. Accommodating their work restrictions requires diligence and flexibility. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should ignore declining performance …