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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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Many employers have a progressive-discipline system. Usually that’s good. But sometimes you may need to deviate from the disciplinary script. To keep your options open, make sure you explain that the disciplinary system is for guidance only, and that you reserve the right to apply the rules based on the individual circumstances of a particular case.
Employees who turn out not to meet the definition of “disabled” can still sue for disability discrimination based on their employer’s perception that they are disabled. That doesn’t mean, however, that supervisors can’t express concern and sympathy when an employee reveals a problem. Nor does it mean they can’t offer accommodations at that point or explain what types of leave are available.

Yes, employers must reasonably accom­modate employees with disabilities. But that doesn’t mean they have to provide a perfect workplace—or tolerate subpar performance. Instead, make the accommodations that are reasonable. If the employee still can’t perform her job’s essential functions, you can terminate her.

Employees who file EEOC or other complaints about discrimination are protected from retaliation for doing so. But that doesn’t mean employers aren’t allowed to discipline employees who have complained—if the situation legitimately calls for discipline. You must, however, be very careful to document the underlying reasons.

Managers should make documentation of employee performance, behavior and discipline a regular habit. Strong documentation is especially important if an employee or ex-employee ever files a legal complaint saying his or her termination or discipline was based on illegal discrimination.

The effects of the recession have helped turn the spotlight on innovative employers that seem to have magic formulas for attracting and keeping their employees happy and productive despite the economic forces around them. SAS Institute and Google are two examples of companies that, consciously or not, have tapped into new ways of motivating employees. Call it “employee enrichment.”
An employee suddenly says, “You rate my production as average and tell me I should do better. My numbers are the same as Mary’s, but you gave her an excellent rating. Does it have anything to do with the fact that I’m black and Mary’s white?” You be the judge:
Comedian Chris Rock and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos are examples of people who approach problems in a nonlinear manner using little bets. It’s an iterative, trial-and-error approach to gradually build up to breakthroughs. Anyone can use little bets to unlock creative ideas. Instead of trying to hit narrow targets on unknown horizons, make a series of little bets.
Hourly employees know that if they work overtime, their employer must pay them for the extra hours. That’s true, but it doesn’t mean they can work OT whenever they feel like it. Here’s how to end unauthorized overtime:
Here’s some help for HR professionals trying to do all they can to safeguard their organization’s exempt/nonexempt employee classifications—especially in an economic climate that requires companies to do more with less:

Even legitimate discipline against a lousy employee can spell FMLA trouble if somehow that discipline happens more quickly than it did for other employees with similar disciplinary problems. Advice: Take your time when disciplining workers who have taken FMLA leave. It’s better to be right than fast.

When it comes to deciding whether to grant reasonable accommodations, the first step is to determine whether the employee is really disabled. A diagnosis isn’t the last word. Does the condition actually limit the employee in some substantial way?

Under the law, an employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to return to the same position he or she held when leave started or to an equivalent position. However, there are situations when employers can refuse to reinstate workers returning from FMLA leave—but only under limited circumstances.

After two years of painful payroll reductions, some employers are considering pay raises. In many organizations, pay hikes will come in the form of variable compensation plans. Experts say these two tactics can help HR pros create variable pay plans that strike a balance between risk, reward and fiscal stability.

You may have employees who perform well but could do better—and you might have some ideas about how they can do that. So at evaluation time, you rate them as good or even excellent employees and want to include some specific suggestions in the narrative part of the evaluation. But you also know that some employees are sen­sitive to criticism. What should you do?

An employee handbook can be the foundation of employee performance and a shield against lawsuits, or it can be a ticking time bomb that confuses employees and strips away your legal ...

When supervisors hear someone complaining about sexual or other harassment, they may be tempted to blow it off as a distraction or tell the co-workers involved to stop it. That’s not good enough. To prevent a successful employee lawsuit, you must impress on first-line supervisors and managers that it’s their responsibility to report any sexual harassment complaint to HR or other appropriate company official.

Q. One of our employees is experiencing performance-related problems, which I believe are attributable to a mental disability. However, the worker has not notified anyone here that he suffers from an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. He hasn’t asked for any accommodations either. Should we nonetheless offer to reasonably accommodate this employee?

Before you officially terminate an employee, make sure you have nailed down the reasons. That’s the official word—even if your decision is challenged. Here’s why: A court may see new or additional reasons as evidence that the first reasons were just excuses.

Average employer-paid health benefit costs have increased about 6% per year for the last five years. At least in the short term, the year-old health care reform law may make the problem even worse. All the more reason to act now to get your health care costs under control. One of the most effective ways: conducting a dependent audit to make sure the people you're covering are actually eligible for insurance benefits.
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