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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?

See more scripts and strategies for writing performance reviews and conducting valuable employee appraisals. Get a sample performance review and employee evaluation forms when you sign up for our Free email newsletter for Leaders & Managers like you…

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Read any good books lately? Maybe the next one you ought to pick up is your organization’s own policy and procedures handbook. If I were to quiz you about it right now, could you score 100%? If not, as one court recently warned, a judge may just... throw the book at you!

Question:  “After my supervisor retired, I was promoted to fill his position. He had a special arrangement with one employee, allowing her to come in early and leave early. No one knew exactly what time she arrived. When the owner promoted me, he said I must put this woman on the same schedule as everyone else. However, I’m not sure how to approach her.  How can I fix this without losing the employee?”  —Caught in the Middle

In 2011, the first of the baby boom generation 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. To survive and thrive in the face of these new demographic realities, employers will need to retain employees well older than the traditional retirement age of 65. Here are some areas on which employers will need to focus to help retain older workers:

The widespread use of blogs and social networking web sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter has employers worried about what their employees are keyboarding and texting. Employers must develop electronic communications policies to cope with the new technology.

Do you have employees who clock in before their shift starts, then stand around drinking coffee for a half-hour? How can you cut down on this “on-the-clock-but-standing-around” time? ...

Sometimes it seems like supervisors and employees work in entirely different places. Several recent studies show that bosses and front-line employees have widely varying views about their organization’s priorities, morale, compensation and benefits. Here are seven key flashpoints:

With everything on your radar during the workday, it’s easy to forget about employee morale. But keeping the team engaged isn’t something that can be ignored or postponed. To keep morale on your radar, be aware of some of the common management mistakes that undermine it. Here are nine main deflators of employee morale, plus tips on avoiding them:

Boorish behavior and vulgar words are on the rise in U.S. workplaces. In fact, 38% of women say they’ve heard inappropriate sexual innuendoes and taunts in the workplace—up from 22% the year before. Such behavior can crush morale and increase turnover. Advice: Adopt a civility policy separate from your harassment policy.

Goal setting can be a tightrope act for supervisors. Set the bar too low and you end up with an unmotivated, unproductive employee. Set it too high and you’ll create frustration and the possibility the person will do something unethical to achieve the goal. To make sure you’re setting goals correctly for employees, ask yourself these eight questions:

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 ...

Although businesses typically view flextime, compressed workweeks and part-time schedules as recruitment and retention strategies, just 6% of employers have ditched those practices, even as they cut staffs. Here are eight ways your organization can make strategic use of work/life benefits to cut costs, save jobs and pump up employee morale during the recession.

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