Business Management Daily

Without deadlines, employees flounder. They can’t be aware of the urgency or priorities of a project unless their supervisors tell them. Following are four tips to help supervisors set realistic deadlines for their employees:

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You and the supervisors at your organization have read horror stories of negative performance reviews spawning lawsuits from disgruntled employees. As a result, some supervisors may shy away from rating someone lower than his or her colleagues. That fear is one main reason too many reviews are positive even if performance is average or poor. The better thing to do is to urge your supervisors to “get real” with reviews.

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At the next business social event, break away from your comfortable clique and try your hand at networking.

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The Department of Homeland Security has authorized more raids on workplaces it suspects include undocumented workers—and employers, not the workers, are being charged with breaking the law. At the same time, the NLRB is pushing employers to settle unfair labor practice cases and ordering them to rehire employees terminated for exercising National Labor Relations Act rights. But what happens when those fired workers are actually ineligible to work?

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Lots of employers win sexual harassment lawsuits, but not until they have had to air their dirty laundry in public—and pay for the privilege, too. That’s one reason to insist on a professional workplace free of sexual innuendo and harassing behavior. HR performs one of its most valuable services when it impresses on management the high cost of winning a sexual harassment lawsuit …

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American workers can access the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging and other forms of electronic communications from anywhere at anytime. While electronic communication helps people do their jobs, it also leaves a trail. A telephone conversation relies on the memory of two participants, but e-mail and IM discussions can be preserved for years to come. And, given the casual way so many people fire off e-mail these days, that can spell legal trouble for employers.

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Managers spend a good part of the workday listening to other people. But bear in mind, there’s a big difference between “passive” and “active” listening. In many cases, managers are too busy thinking about their response rather than listening to the employee’s full statement. In a business setting, this lack of attention can result in costly mistakes, wasted time, poor service and management failure.

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Remind upper-level managers: When a supervisor or mid-level manager makes comments that could be construed as racist or religiously motivated, it pays to act fast. In fact, firing the responsible manager sometimes can be the best way to go. That way, if the employee he disparaged later gets turned down for a promotion or a raise, it will be much harder for an attorney to show a connection between the supervisor’s biased views and the denied opportunity …

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Business Management Daily announces a new free resource for employers, attorneys, HR professionals and managers on federal and state overtime labor laws. Download a copy of Overtime Labor Law: 6 compliance tips to avoid FLSA overtime lawsuits, wage-and-hour labor audits and FLSA exemption mistakes at www.businessmanagementdaily.com/Overtime-labor-law.

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If you find yourself seeking new employment, consider taking proactive, positive approaches. All hinge on online methods, which 40% of new job seekers use in their searches (2008 Spherion Emerging Workforce Study).

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