Want to know how to get under the skin of the lawyers who represent employees? Ask one. They won't all cop to what sinks their cases, but this one did. Learn what she fears most when staring down an employer in court.
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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Meetings can be brutally boring. They can be too frequent, too long and too unproductive. You may think you can’t do anything to make a meeting more efficient and results-oriented—you aren’t the person leading it, right? But Amy Henderson, Henderson Training Inc., believes you can do a lot to influence a meeting.
Employers expect employees to get to work on time. Occasional problems with traffic or family issues sometimes make employees late. But chronic tardiness is another thing altogether. While most employers track tardiness occurrences, they should do more. How?
All by itself, a negative performance review after an employee has taken FMLA leave doesn’t give the employee a reason to file a lawsuit. Unless the poor review is accompanied by something tangible—like a demotion or the loss of a pay increase—courts won’t see the review as retaliation.
It often makes sense to give a fresh start to a poorly performing employee who has been complaining about discrimination. Place her in another position with a new supervisor, new co-workers and a clean disciplinary record. Then if her workplace problems persist, you can terminate her without worrying about retaliation claims.
Some employees think they know their jobs better than their supervisors do. They want to decide which parts of their jobs are important and which parts are not. Then, when evaluation time rolls around, they try to show that they achieved their own goals for their jobs—even though management wanted other goals met. Don't let this happen.
Question: “Our appraisal system requires supervisors to schedule quarterly conferences with their employees, but my boss never does. On my annual performance review, he always lists the dates when our conferences should have happened, then asks me to sign it. I have never been comfortable falsifying this information, but I don't know what to do. Should I just suck it up and sign to keep my boss out of trouble? Or should I refuse and risk becoming the target of retaliation?” — Honest Employee
One of the worst things you can do after you terminate an employee is change the reason for ending the employment relationship. Instead, decide on a defensible rationale—a performance problem or rule violation, for example, or perhaps a business downturn—and document that decision and all the supporting evidence.
Q. We have an employee who does not work very hard and her production is marginal. If we terminate the employee, will she be able to collect unemployment compensation?
Most of the time, employers can win discrimination cases by showing that the same “actor” hired and fired an employee. Courts generally assume that the employer’s stated reason for discharge is the true reason and not an excuse to cover up discrimination. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can be loose with your discharge reasons.