Business Management Daily

More pink slips are on the horizon. According to outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, 1 million more job cuts are likely in 2009. But, there’s a silver lining among all the dark clouds of this recession, says the firm’s chief executive, John Challenger, and it’s this: Layoffs can be good news, in a strange way.

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Q. What kinds of information and documents should we keep in our personnel files?

A. You should include pretty much all documentation concerning an employee’s history with the company—attendance, pay history, job history, discipline and evaluations—except medical documentation and, perhaps, protected activity information concerning matters such as discrimination and harassment complaints.

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Nearly 1,000 vendors are in the employment background screening industry now, making it difficult to sort out the top tier from the fly-by-night firms. Many sell cheap but incomplete background checks in minutes. Too often, they simply restate old information bought from private data brokers. Good news: Now you have a new yardstick on which to gauge their quality before you conduct a job background check.

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One important way to judge your success as a manager is by the success of your employees. How can you be sure that your best people will someday be top-notch leaders themselves? Start with these four basic yet effective tips for developing managerial skills among your employees.

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American workers can access the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging and other forms of electronic communications from anywhere at any time. 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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The popularity of Internet blogs and social networking sites such as MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook and Friendster is causing confusion and concern for some employers. Is there any harm in using information published on the Internet to screen applicants? At a time when it’s easy to search the web for information on just about anyone, what steps should a reasonable employer take to investigate the background of an employee?

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Layoffs put retention on shaky ground at precisely the time that remaining employees’ loyalty is key to your organization’s success. Ignoring that "survivor syndrome" will only cripple morale further and generate more turnover. Communication is the key to overcoming it. Here’s how:

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There’s no escaping difficult, dastardly or downright nasty people at work. There’s always at least one of them floating around.  While you can’t control someone’s horrible personality, you can decide how you’re going to respond. That means polishing your EMS— enemy management skills. By killing your enemies with kindness, or at least identifying their M.O. and mitigating their effects on your workplace, you can rise above their noxious influence.

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According to a new survey by SurePayroll, 81% of small business owners say they’ve never received outside equity or debt financing.

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