Centerpiece

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is so committed to job creation that he’s pledged to take at least $100,000 from the annual profits of two Starbucks shops in Los Angeles and Harlem, and reinvest it in those neighborhoods. His goal: improving education and job training for local young adults.

While legal problems can crop up during an employee’s tenure, the two events that carry the most legal risk for employers are the hiring and the departure of an employee. Hiring discrimination lawsuits are particularly dangerous. To stay out of court, managers should build their hiring process around these principles:

Protect your organization from harassment lawsuits by focusing your attention on both preventive and corrective measures. Give every employee a copy of your anti-harassment policy. Train everyone to ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities.

Socializing at work is good for you, according to a jillion studies. What’s not so good: getting stuck in a conversation that seems to never end, about a colleague’s trip to the pet groomer or the adorable 10 things the co-worker’s child said yesterday. Avoid these topics:

Employers must balance the desire for a drug-free workplace with employees' privacy rights. So before implementing a drug testing policy, employers must address several issues, such as whether random drug testing is legal and if they can reject an applicant who won't submit to a pre-employment drug test.

Imagine you’ve shown up for three days of leadership training. On the first night, you’ve settled in for a good night’s sleep when someone wakes you and takes you to a nearby bay for a two-mile swim. That’s how former Navy SEAL Rob Roy kicks off his 80-hour leadership course inspired by military combat prep.

Do you know how to win people over by saying the right thing? Find out in this survey crafted by Laurie Puhn, Harvard lawyer, couples mediator and best-selling author, designed to gauge your communication IQ.
Make a fresh start in 2012 by creating a new employee record-keeping system. Whether you’re going to stick with paper files, create computer-based folders or go high-tech and store your records in the cloud, you need to create at least four separate sets of records for each employee:

Have you ever caused a problem for your computer because you simply didn’t know better? “You’d be surprised how many people unknowingly damage their computers,” says Derek Meister, a Best Buy technician. Here are six no-no’s to avoid to keep your computer out of the repair shop:

Leadership guru John Maxwell has put his finger on yet another truth: You should never suppress candor in the interest of caring about your employees. Before having a candid conversation, make sure you can answer yes to these:

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