Centerpiece

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The holidays are nigh—a time filled with goodwill toward all. Except maybe for you, as you’re charged with handling a bonus payroll, in addition to the regular payroll. If holiday bonuses are in your company’s future, be sure to cover these bases.

The EEOC numbers announced this month show that America’s ongoing economic struggles are continuing to fuel the job discrimination fire in 2011. Employees filed 99,947 charges of job discrimination with the EEOC in fiscal year 2011. That’s the highest number of job bias complaints filed by employees in the EEOC’s 46-year history.

Janie used to wear a ponytail to work, along with scant makeup, khakis, sweaters and loafers. Then a “Power of Image” workshop changed how she presented herself. Now, when she shares her ideas with senior managers, they listen and buy in to what she’s saying.

If you have a policy prohibiting employees from using cell phones while driving on company business, it may no longer be sufficient. Blame the rise of smartphones, which make it more important than ever to have a mobile phone policy.
When you want to ignore a problem, defer it to someone else’s watch or wait for it to magically get better, you kick the can down the road. It’s a strategy that almost never works. So what can we do to deal with problems instead of avoiding them? Here are some ideas.
Your smartphone is supposed to help you get more things done and faster. But these mistakes could take you a step backward: 1. Answering it all the time. 2. Not learning the shortcuts. 3. Hiding your phone. 4. Not backing it up. 5. Checking emails constantly.
Workplace bullying is an issue that employers should pay attention to—to get ahead of potential legal obligations and mitigate the high business costs of bullying. Some steps employers might consider taking include: Adopt a "no jerks" rule, and adopt and en­­force an anti-bullying policy.

Do you have a general reference guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style, a grammar reference and a dictionary, but still not know what the preferred organizational usage or style is? We thought so. Your organization needs its own in-house style guide.

As more and more employees telecommute and spread out over the globe, keeping employees in the loop and part of the company culture can be a challenge. Try business social software, a catchall term for intranet versions similar to Facebook. It's the new must-have, like email was a decade ago.

With pressure on wages still tight, employers are whipping up new employee perks almost every day. The problem, of course, is that no one consults Payroll before the big rollout to employees. That’s a mistake, since perks are taxable, unless the tax code says they’re not.

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