Centerpiece

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When it comes to bringing legal claims, employees feel emboldened when they can paint you into a “my word against yours” corner. But they don’t feel as comfortable—and likely won’t sue—when they’re facing a case of their word against two representatives from management.
When cash for pay raises is tight, it’s hard to use that as a carrot to attract and retain em­­ployees. But the uncertain economy has many workers increasingly focused on long-term financial security. That makes retirement benefits all the more attractive. If you don’t currently offer a retirement plan, it might be time to consider establishing a 401(k) plan.

It’s a golden rule in most businesses: Salaries must be kept secret. It's almost universally accepted that mayhem would ensue in the workplace if people knew what their co-workers, their managers or—gasp—the CEO was making. Three major reasons why secret salaries are silly, according to consultant Alexander Kjerulf:

When you grant an employee FMLA leave to care for a sick relative, do you wonder what type of “care” they must really be giving to qualify for time off under the FMLA? A new court ruling defines care as being in physical proximity to the relative. Cutting a lawn in a different time zone doesn’t cut it …
In the world of baseball recently, the manager of the Washington Nationals suddenly resigned. The Nationals had just beaten the Seat­tle Mariners when Jim Riggleman quit. If you're considering quitting your job, Riggleman's case of­­fers at least three things to consider:
With the increasing volume of work that everyone expects to get done, more of my clients are asking for help on improving their delegation skills. Based on the best practices of leaders who are really excellent at delegation, I’ve come up with a five-step approach called TRACK.
Just as communication at the beginning of a marriage can indicate if it will end in divorce, the foundation established early on with a new hire is crucial to productivity, engagement and retention. Onboarding programs yield the best results if they cover these five areas: clarification, connection, culture, compliance and check back.
Today’s mobile workforce is changing the concept of where work is done. Social contact manager Gist analyzed some of the data on the mo­­bile workforce and offers a glimpse of how today’s workforce is changing as people choose where, when and how they work. Example: 3 out of 5 workers say they don’t need to be in the office anymore to be productive.
You probably didn’t know that in 1937, a horse fell on musical genius Cole Porter, crushing both his legs. He was 46 years old. Through 35 operations and chronic pain, he retained a keen sense of humor and found inspiration everywhere.
The IRS recently announced an increase in the standard mileage rate for the second half of 2011. So taxpayers might discard all the additional records required to deduct actual driving expenses for a new vehicle and go with the IRS-approved shortcut. But don’t assume the standard rate method beats the actual expense method.
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