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Sometimes, layoffs are inevitable … and they’re always a legal minefield. Get it wrong and your attorneys’ fees can easily exceed the labor costs you hoped to save. Decide who should go in much the same way you decide who to hire. Look at the jobs that will survive and select the employees who best fit those jobs.

Measuring output without measuring input is a little like telling a Little League team to score more runs, without explaining how to swing a bat better. That’s why James Slavet, of venture firm Greylock Partners (investors in Groupon and Facebook), believes great teams should measure five metrics:

Employees call Payroll every year saying they’ve lost their W-2s. Dealing with such requests can become a time-consuming headache, especially for larger organizations. Here are some tips for managing the reissued W-2 process.

Many employers (and the consultants who encourage them) aren’t doing a good job of managing the legal risk and cost associated with wellness programs that ignore the law. Federal, state and sometimes local laws can affect wellness programs. Employers need to understand them.

The latest technology trend? Going low-tech and “un­­plug­­ging” to get our most meaningful work done. Many are realizing we may need to take drastic mea­­sures to “switch off.” Here are some low-tech suggestions:
It’s your IRA, so you’ll use the funds in your account however you like ... right? Wrong. The tax law imposes a number of restrictions on IRA owners. You can’t simply do whatever you want. Failing to observe these rules can turn into an unmitigated tax disaster.
Human resources departments with small budgets can turn to a growing variety of free and low-cost mobile and web-based applications to increase efficiency and cut costs. The apps are available in several areas of HR, including hiring, benefits, attendance and performance reviews.
Chicago-based Groupon has spawned an industry of deeply discounted coupons. If its model catches your business's fancy, try it, with precautions. Make sure you’re solid on Yelp. If you’re afraid of a customer deluge, cap the number of coupons. And never take your eye off quality.

Good ideas aren’t hard to find. As long as you’ve got smart and creative people, there should be plenty of ideas. What’s hard is follow-through. Two examples: making the Rolling Stones album “Sticky Fingers” and Mick Jagger writing “Brown Sugar.”

For everything else that contributes to employee satisfaction, most people wouldn’t do their jobs free. Compensation is a critical tenet of the employment contract. If you're committed to attracting and retaining excellent employees, you had better be prepared to answer these questions about your compensation practices.
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