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Productivity / Performance

Tough new boss? Make sure everyone is treated ‘By the book’

Sometimes, organizations have to shake up the troops. If productivity had been below par and attitudes poor, a new boss who takes a hard line may be just what the company needs. As long as the new supervisor doesn’t single out employees who are members of a particular protected class, there’s nothing wrong with a heavy dose of “follow the rules” management …

Routinely document poor performance—Just in case

When a supervisor says a subordinate is not performing well, make sure empirical evidence backs up that opinion. In addition, direct anyone who had to deal with the employee’s poor performance to make notes. If supervisors are called later to testify in court, notes will help them remember the details …

All by itself, a lower evaluation score isn’t retaliation

Nowadays, many employees who file discrimination complaints follow up later with retaliation claims. That doesn’t mean employers have no power to manage the workplace after an employee files a discrimination complaint. The key is to be levelheaded, reasonable and fair, especially at evaluation time. You aren’t required to reward discrimination complaints with inflated evaluations …

Disabled employee must be able to perform

Chrysler hired Loretta Steward in 1997 as an hourly employee at its Viper plant in Detroit. In October 2004, Chrysler placed Steward on medical restrictions because of hand, shoulder and neck pain. The restrictions, which limited her lifting to 10 pounds or less, prevented Steward from performing her job …

Handling a disability claim: step by step

Q. We recently terminated an employee who couldn’t get his work done on time (and basically couldn’t sit still). He had told his supervisor before that he had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but that wasn’t taken into consideration. Now he’s threatening to sue. Are we at risk, and should we settle? — A.L., Connecticut …

Use ‘Soft’ criteria for staffing decisions? Be prepared to back up rationale

Some jobs require a set of objective or “hard” skills, plus subjective or “soft” skills. As long as an employer can clearly articulate what soft skills an applicant or employee lacks, it can use the subjective reasons when making selection or retention decisions …

Get employees to grade themselves: A simple, 3-question process


Drafting  performance reviews is always a daunting task for supervisors, for many legitimate reasons. In reality, it doesn’t need to be that way. One simple way to reinvent performance appraisals is to shift the responsibility for initial evaluations back to your employees.

Boost productivity via employees’ love of to-Do lists

A new Kelton Research survey shows that people worldwide depend heavily on their to-do lists. That’s especially true in the United States, where 76% of people keep at least one to-do list running …

Incorporating Self-Reviews: A Simple, 3-Question Process

by Paul Falcone Drafting performance reviews is always a daunting task for supervisors, for many legitimate reasons: Judging others’ work often appears exceptionally perception-driven (vs. fact-driven), and providing honest feedback is potentially confrontational. Plus, if you overinflate grades, you create a record that may not withstand legal scrutiny if you later want to terminate or […]

Track declining productivity to justify staffing, pay and promotion decisions

Part-time employees are often the first to get pink slips in an economic downturn. But watch out if your part-timers are disproportionately parents who have child care responsibilities. Don’t be surprised if those employees respond to a layoff by contacting an attorney …