FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2012
Contact: Elizabeth Hall, Senior Web Editor
(800) 543-2055 (703) 905-8000
Business Alert: Top 3 Employer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Falls Church, Va. — Failing to effectively communicate with employees isn’t just bad for business. It can also create a work environment that’s ripe for legal trouble. Business Management Daily breaks down five of the most common errors that land companies in court, as well as preventative tips to help avoid such problems in the first place.
According Business Management Daily’s Senior Web Editor, Elizabeth Hall, “If you take time to communicate, explain your actions, stay involved and make the workplace seem rational to employees, you will increase your chances of staying out of the courtroom.”
Hall adds, “For those employers that find themselves in hot water, you’ll see one common denominator -- communication lies at the heart of all of them.”
Below are the top three most common errors that land employers in court:
1. Failing to document performance issues. Arbitrators, judges and juries will believe one document over 10 witnesses. An employer’s documentation doesn’t have to be formal or perfectly written, but it does have to be understandable, contemporaneous—and dated! Many employment cases—especially those involving retaliation claims—hinge on timing issues alone.
2. Failing to have effective policies and preventive measures. In today’s environment, the best way to limit exposure to employment claims is to have policies on workplace harassment, FMLA leave, workplace violence and standards of conduct. They’re critical. Before putting such policies in place, it’s always a good idea to seek legal counsel from an employment attorney to ensure they are drafted correctly and that you have covered all the bases.
3. Failing to provide accurate and honest performance evaluations. At many wrongful discharge trials, the plaintiff’s first exhibits are recent performance evaluations—almost always showing good, if not excellent, performance. If evaluations inaccurately reflect good performance, employees will often argue that their termination from a company was illegal or discriminatory. Employers hold supervisors accountable for the accuracy and timeliness of their performance evaluations. Make sure the forms themselves encourage frank and constructive criticism. Avoid generic forms that tend to result only in positive reviews. Where possible, tailor evaluation tools to the specific job and use objective criteria and metrics to measure performance.
Hall concludes, “Employers may want to consider focusing on communication, being aware and involved in the workplace, as well as being proactive regarding employee issues. Those are four fundamental and preventative measures that should help run a more effective business, as well as potentially keep companies out of legal trouble.”
For more information and the full article containing the complete list of top ‘5’ employer mistakes and how to avoid them, please visit http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/4778/top-5-mistakes-employers-make-and-how-to-avoid-them?src=SONAR-RCLP-LM-10SecretsPerfRevw.
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