Performance Reviews

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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HR Law 101: When drugs don’t seem to present a problem in a workplace, it’s easy to develop a cavalier attitude about them. That’s not very smart. Drug abuse often begins with a single offender and then spreads out ­malignantly. Experts say your best defense is to detect drug abuse when it first appears and to root it out immediately ...

Have you ever been suspicious about an employee’s request for FMLA leave? Employees have learned to play the FMLA game quite well in the 17 years since the law was passed. In this new case, an "attendance-challenged" employee was denied extra vacation leave for her wedding, so she then submitted an FMLA leave request for those same dates. Hmmmm … smell fishy?

If your organization uses independent contractors, watch out: Starting in February, the IRS will begin intensive audits of 6,000 randomly selected employers. One of the key targets: Determining whether employers are improperly misclassifying workers as independent contractors to save on taxes and legal risks.

When promotion processes bypass qualified candidates, discrimination lawsuits are almost sure to follow. That’s because employees can easily poke holes in complex candidate-ranking systems, and supervisor bias emerges when promotions are on the line. If you have set criteria for promotions, make sure you follow your own rules.

Employees who quit aren’t generally entitled to unemployment compensation. However, there’s an exception for employees who quit “because of a good reason caused by the employer”—if the employees first give employers a chance to correct the problem. One reason that’s not good enough: a schedule change.

With so many companies focused on downsizing to contain costs in a down economy, many employers have failed to prepare for a pending change that will significantly alter workforce demographics. Beginning in 2011, the first of the baby boomers will turn 65. As the rest of the roughly 70 million baby boomers follow, we’ll see a major shift in the age of our society—and our workforces. This shift will have a significant impact on employers.

Q. We recently disciplined an employee for poor performance. She did not agree with our assessment and is refusing to sign the memo documenting our discussions. Can we discipline her for her refusal to sign this memo?

When an employee is out on FMLA leave, employers have to be careful about balancing their need for full staffing so they can get the work done and the worker’s right to take leave. If missed work poses a problem, the best approach is to focus on specific work deficiencies that aren’t related to FMLA-protected absences.

You never know which employee is going to be the one who will sue over discipline. But one thing is certain: When she does, you’ll need every bit of documentary evidence you can find to justify your decision.

As you gear up for a new year, here are some key to-do’s that will minimize the risk of lawsuits: Make sure your company has considered how a potential flu pandemic could affect your operations ... Get to know GINA ... Keep an eye on the feds ... Beware hasty terminations ... Watch wage-and-hour issues ... Make the ADA interactive ... Focus on union issues ... Manage social media ...

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