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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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Rather than wait for year-end performance reviews to assess your employees, hold frequent mini-reviews ...

You’re probably familiar with the legislative fight brewing over the proposed Employee Free Choice Act. That debate has spotlighted a fact many employers don’t realize: Nonunion employers must comply with requirements of the National Labor Relations Act. To help you comply, here are the major traps to watch for.

Effective leaders spend 60 percent of their time solving problems, while average leaders spend less than 30 percent of their time fixing what’s broken. That’s why breaking free from the confines of bureaucratic systems to resolve conflicts and produce meaningful results is a key characteristic of an organizational leader. Here are a few problem-solving scripts for those difficult employee discussions:

Performance improvement plans (PIPs) are great tools to help underperforming employees come up to standards. But some employees think they can file a lawsuit anytime they are placed on a PIP or are justified in quitting. As the following case shows, that’s not necessarily true.

Q. Our CEO just implemented a new employee evaluation goal that calls for employees to do charitable volunteer work throughout the year. The more they volunteer, the higher the points they receive on their review, ultimately increasing their salaries. Can we do this without risk?

It happens to every manager: You sit down to prepare a staff member's review and realize you can remember only what the person has done the past few weeks. Supervisors should never rely solely on memory to evaluate employee performance. The most useful, easy-to-implement way is to create and maintain a log for each person. Here's how.

A progressive discipline system is the best way to correct employee performance problems. It’s also the best way to protect against wrongful termination lawsuits. It allows you to ensure that any employee fired because of inferior performance was treated fairly and in accordance with your company’s policies. Here’s a five-step model for progressive discipline:

Amid layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts and frozen salaries, most organizations are holding onto their work/life benefits during the recession. And some of them are using flextime, telework and other employee favorites as cost-cutting strategies. Here are nine ways your organization can make strategic use of work/life benefits to cut costs, save jobs and pump up employee morale during the recession.

With year-end performance reviews just around the corner, now's a good time to build your personnel files for the task ahead.

It’s no picnic when you have to fire people for poor performance. Wayne Downing, a retired four-star general who ran the U.S. Army Special Forces, says you’ve got to do it. His advice:

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.

What if a management consultant suggests that you find “young, energetic” people to take over? A court ruling last week sends a clear warning: Be careful who you listen to for advice … and where you write it down.

Sometimes, it takes a new manager or supervisor to see how poorly an employee is performing. If an employee who has been getting good reviews suddenly appears to slump under new leadership, don’t jump the gun and discipline the employee right away. Here’s a better approach ...

Remind supervisors that any comments they make about race or another protected characteristic can come back to haunt the company. It doesn’t much matter whether the comments come before or after a termination decision has been made.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee who was passed over for a promotion can’t later use the poor performance of the person who got the job to prove the decision was discriminatory. The case shows that courts are willing to let employers make mistakes; they won’t micromanage hiring and promotion decisions.

Supervisors who want to hand-select a particular employee for a job may be tempted to play fast and loose with the company promotion process. Watch out!

Companies that fire lots of employees get sued for discrimination by many of the castoffs. But all those terminations may be an indication of employee/management personality conflicts, not discrimination.

Q. If an employee is already on probation when she becomes pregnant, can we continue progressive discipline measures, including possible discharge?

Q. We had to terminate an employee for failure to adequately perform his job responsibilities. Can we deny him the COBRA subsidy because the termination was not a layoff or a result of the economy?

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