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Productivity / Performance

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

04/01/2008
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

04/01/2008
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

04/01/2008
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 …

Bring back injured employee quickly: A 5-step return-to-work plan

03/04/2008
When an employee is injured on the job, what you do—and when you do it—can determine not only how quickly the employee will return to work but also whether he or she will return at all.

Business community gives lawmakers low marks

03/01/2008

In a recent Michigan Chamber of Commerce survey, a whopping 90% of responding members gave state lawmakers a grade of “D” or lower for overall job performance …

Accommodations working? Then avoid sudden change of heart following injury

03/01/2008

Disabled employees who receive ADA accommodations expect those accommodations to continue even after an unrelated minor injury. If you suddenly remove the accommodation, you may find yourself facing a “regarded-as-disabled” lawsuit …

Court finds Hillsborough County did not discriminate

03/01/2008

 A counselor for the Hillsborough County Children’s Services Department (CSD) lost her disability discrimination case against the county in U.S. District Court for the Middle District in Tampa …

360° evaluations help when charge is ‘Failure to get along’

03/01/2008
Courts are naturally suspicious when employers trot out subjective discharge reasons like “not a team player” or “fails to inspire subordinates,” which may mask an underlying discriminatory attitude. One way to add credibility to subjective evaluation criteria is to ask co-workers and subordinates for their confidential assessments …

Effective evaluations are management tools, legal protection

03/01/2008

Ah, the “halo effect”—the practice of inflating an employee’s annual evaluation to increase overall morale and avoid the unpleasantness of telling underperforming workers what their weaknesses are. Too bad using the halo strategy both undermines performance and exposes employers to legal risks …

3 free tools to perk up employee teamwork

03/01/2008

If your organization hasn’t moved beyond “reply all” e-mails as its sole means of online employee interaction, promote any of these three options to spark more interaction and productivity …