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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What if you discover during an employee's FMLA leave that the employee wasn’t as stellar as you always believed? What if you couldn’t have known that until you hired a temporary replacement. Must you bring the employee back? No, according to a recent 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

Anytime you thrust people together, whether work related or family related, you come across a “toxic taker.” Toxic takers poison your environment, and you need to take action against them. Here are some survival tactics.

Former employees and their lawyers are always looking for ways to maximize what they can get from former employers. One way is to add a wrongful discharge claim if an employee is fired after he or she complains about workplace safety. These cases can get quite expensive, as the following case shows.

Employers aren’t allowed to count absences covered by the FMLA when they discipline employees. That’s why it’s important to segregate any such absences from performance reviews and any discussions about attendance.

Employers are responsible if they know or have reason to know about a hostile work environment created by employees and do nothing to fix it. As a practical matter, what employers hear and see may be just the tip of the iceberg. Smart employers immediately attempt to get the whole picture and then correct the harassing behavior.

An Illinois court has ruled that employees who request FMLA leave before they’ve met the eligibility thresholds are protected from retaliation. An employer can’t, for example, fire such an employee because he says he will soon be taking FMLA leave and perhaps undergo expensive medical treatment.

Who doesn’t hate performance reviews? They destroy morale and teamwork, says Samuel Culbert, a management professor at UCLA, and they hurt the bottom line. The alternative: Instead of a one-side-accountable, top-down review, consider a both-sides-accountable performance preview.

Employees who return from FMLA-covered maternity leave are supposed to come back to the same or a substantially equivalent position. Don’t make the mistake of offering a position that has the same title and pay, but which involves very different duties. That’s especially true if those duties are more onerous for a new mother.

When you fire an employee for misconduct and he proceeds to file an unemployment compensation claim, how does your organization respond? In recent years, record numbers of U.S. employers have challenged those payouts. The rise in challenges can be pegged to more employers citing misconduct as the reason for terminations.

Major policy issues being debated in Washington will likely change the face of HR this year, according to speakers at the SHRM's 2009 Employment Law and Legislative Conference. As a new Democratic Congress gains legislative traction and the Obama administration begins making policy, those issues could also be key to reversing the fiscal meltdown.

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