When drug abuse isn’t an obvious problem in the workplace, it’s easy for employers to develop a cavalier attitude about it. That’s not smart. It’s in your best interest to detect employee drug abuse early and root it out immediately. But that’s easier said than done. Keeping your workplace drug-free means knowing how to spot the problem and effectively respond to it—without violating employees’ legal rights and creating legal liability.
For most managers, conducting effective performance reviews is the most daunting part of their job. Don’t look on it with dread! Make your performance appraisals work for you, not against you with these tools: performance review examples, tips on writing employee reviews, sample performance reviews and employee evaluation forms.
So, your tasked with assessing employee performance and writing performance reviews. Where do you get started?
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The waning days of this recession pose three particular problems: absentee leadership, changing cultures and underperforming employees. Here are three solutions, adapted from “Leading during a downturn”:
Who likes confrontation at work? Yet that fear of confrontation can drive a manager to write a glowing evaluation for an average or poor-performing employee—just to avoid conflict and hurt feelings. One court recently warned managers to get over the fear and document accurately … or you’ll lose key legal defenses needed to win discrimination lawsuits.
Nobody said managing poor performers would be easy. So don’t manage them. Try these stranger-than-fiction methods of the truly cowardly. Example: Try "team-building." Instead of working one-on-one with the source of trouble, drag the whole group into “team-building” in hopes that your poor performer will improve.
Once again it's time for "March Madness." If your workplace is like many, talk of NCAA tournament picks and the Final Four will be everywhere, as well as bets on the games. While office pools are a lot of fun, they also can present some risk for employers. Consider having a written policy regarding workplace gambling to prevent things from getting out of control.
Join The HR Specialist in celebrating the first-ever “HR Professionals Week,” a five-day tribute to all that human resources pros do to make American workplaces more effective and American businesses more successful. From Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 5, we're offering a full week’s worth of free resources and activities available to all, including open-access podcasts and white papers on the critical issues shaping the HR profession.
An employer that assumes an employee is disabled and then fires him or even just treats him differently than other employees may end up with an ADA lawsuit. That’s because the employee may not actually be disabled—but can still sue for disability discrimination based on the employer’s presumption that he is.
Here’s another legal danger for HR to watch out for: The charge that a supervisor conspired to terminate employees belonging to a protected class. Employees who can show that a supervisor and someone else involved in a termination decision conspired to terminate employees of a particular race, sex or other protected classification have a separate claim beyond the traditional employment law remedies.
Some employees who break rules believe they’re immune from firing if someone else committed the same infraction and didn’t get fired. That’s simply not true. What may be a firing offense for one employee doesn’t have to be the last straw for every other employee. The key is to document—at the time—why you made the decision so you can later explain the difference between the two situations.
Sometimes, you have to take a chance on a job applicant because the candidate pool isn’t filled with as much talent as you would like. Everyone knows picking a marginal candidate can turn out to be a mistake. If you find you have to terminate such an employee, have the same person who made the hiring decision also make the termination decision. That reduces the chance of a costly discrimination lawsuit ...