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People Management

With some employees, it isn’t a matter of ability, it’s a matter of attitude. And while you can’t control someone’s horrible personality, you can decide how you’re going to respond. Use these scripts and strategies to confront problem employees and effectively manage employee discipline so you can bring motivating back to the forefront of your workday.

The first rule of people management is not to let one bad apple spoil your whole bunch. Difficult people can put a strain on the productive members of your team.

Make the most of your human capital. Browse our articles on the good, the bad and the ugly of People Management…

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Q. My company is a nonsubscriber under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act and has its own on-the-job employee injury benefit plan. Is there any way to decrease the likelihood of employees who receive benefits under the plan later suing the company and recovering damages related to their injuries?
The WARN Act forbids employers from implementing a plant closing or mass layoff until 60 days after employees have been notified they will lose their jobs. Employees on layoff status when the announcement is made are also entitled to receive warning. They’re also entitled to wage payments if, at the time of the notice, they reasonably expected they would be recalled to work.

Customers may not always be right, but employers can’t ignore their reasonable and lawful complaints. Remember, you need to document those complaints at the time they happen—especially if it seems like a customer complaint might lead to employee discipline.

Guess which of your employees are among the most likely to file a discrimination complaint, request ADA accommodations or ask for FMLA leave. Those who know they’re in trouble at work. They think that by doing so, they’ll make you think twice before discharging them. If that doesn’t keep you from firing them, guess what happens next.

As lean-and-mean companies keep asking more of their beleaguered employees, you may find yourself goading your team members to take on work that falls outside their normal jobs. You don’t have to beg and plead. Instead, approach your workers as potential volunteers ...
Being an effective manager means confronting those “challenging” employees who, while typically good at their jobs, too often display unprofessional or downright obnoxious behavior. Simply tolerating such workers is a finger-in-the-dike approach, and it runs counter to two traits of good managers—leadership and decisiveness. Managers who silently put up with such behavior will undermine their own authority.

If you’re considering so-called alternative dispute resolution, be sure to have an experienced attorney draw up the arbitration agreement. It should clearly state that all employment disputes will be handled by arbitration. Your role in HR is to take all necessary steps to ensure employees understand that agreeing to arbitration is a condition of employment.

Motivating employees by giving away money sounds like a sure-fire winner. Dropping $20 here, $50 there as a way to salute exceptional performance sends the right message—right?
You set goals for your employees and map steps they can take to achieve them. You also listen to your team and choose goals accordingly. But even if you gain their buy-in and support their efforts in goal attainment, there's often a critical missing piece: Do your workers think they can reach the goal?
Don’t read too much into the NLRB's recent "Facebook rant" ruling. Despite much employer hand-wringing, the decision didn't give employees a free pass on social media posts. They still don’t have license to defame, disparage or otherwise trash their company, management, product or co-workers. Here's why.
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