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Whether it’s a speedy way to create a bar chart or a trick for switching from one window to the next, keyboard shortcuts can help even power users knock out work faster. Here are a few of our readers’ faves:
Providing negative feedback during employee performance reviews is an uncomfortable but necessary part of being a successful manager. Surveys show that employees actually value negative feedback when it’s delivered constructively. But a poor approach can cause resentment and further job disengagement. Follow these tips when giving your next review.
Winter weather can foul up more than the roads. Employees who aren't comfortable driving will come in late, leave early, or just stay home. Mass transit delays can take a similar toll. To avoid pay-related misunderstandings, it's important to know the rules of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) road. Note that your state wage and hour laws may vary.
Train supervisors and managers on situations that could trigger the FMLA leave determination process. The best approach is to suggest they notify HR if an employee calls in sick and implies anything more than “I’m sick today.” If the employee provides any detail that makes it seem likely he or a family member is suffering from a serious health condition, he should be referred to HR to determine if he’s eligible for FMLA leave.
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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) has introduced legislation to formally expand the definition of “family” under the FMLA to include “a same-sex spouse, domestic partner, parent-in-law, adult child, sibling or grandparent.”
Stever Robbins, who dispenses advice on maximizing your creativity and whipping your e-mail into submission, now is integrating time management and innovation into a coherent system for getting things done. Here are tips from his new guide to working less and accomplishing more:
Communications strategist Miri McDonald thinks unproductive meetings should be banned. And when a meeting is needed, it should be both productive and fun. She believes in thinking through every aspect of a meeting in advance—everything from the relationships between attendees to which open-ended questions will get a conversation going.
Germ-ridden office refrigerators are no laughing matter. According to a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, the noxious fumes coming from the refrigerator in one office were so bad, seven employees had to be sent to the hospital and the entire building was evacuated.
Good news for large corporations means bad news for small business owners: Instead of going after the big fish, the IRS is spending more resources on the small fry. A new study shows that the IRS reduced the number of hours agents spent auditing large corporations by one-third since 2005 and increased the hours spent on audits of companies with assets of less than $10 million by 30%.