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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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A disclaimer that clearly states an employee has no employment contract may be enough to kill a tortuous interference-with-contract claim.
Courts love to see good records that support employer discipline—records created at or very near the time events occurred. That’s why every manager needs to know how to document discipline and who gets a copy for later use.

Judges don’t want your job. They don’t see courtrooms as publicly funded HR offices, and will often try to defer to employer decisions as much as possible. That’s a huge advantage for employers. Capitalize on that by giving the court something to hang a favorable decision on. That something is often a clear and fair disciplinary process.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Thompson v. North American Stainless underscores the need for employers to take proactive and thoughtful measures to prevent retaliation claims. Follow these practices to help avoid retaliation claims—not only from employees who have engaged in protected activity, but from those closely associated with them.
Employers that bend their disciplinary rules after an employee files a discrimination or harassment complaint almost guarantee they will face a jury if the employee sues. Courts often see such deviations as evidence of retaliation.

The Equal Pay Act requires the same pay for women and men doing the same work under similar working conditions and requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility. But the law provides several ways for employers to defend pay disparities. Wage differences can be justified if they are based on a seniority or merit system, or vary depending on the quantity or quality of production.

No manager enjoys having “the talk” with employees. But ignoring an employee’s poor performance won’t make the problem go away; it’ll only make things worse. Tell managers they can improve the odds for positive change by following these six rules of employee engagement:

A while back, Google set out to improve the skills of its managers. A bunch of statisticians compared correlations in the words and phrases that came up again and again in performance reviews, feedback surveys and recognition nominations.  The end result: a simple yet elegant list of eight things the best Google managers do:

Linda recently wrote on our Admin Pro Forum, “I recently took a job where I supervise three administrative assistants. I work directly on a daily basis with one admin ... but I don’t have daily contact with the other two admins, because they are in different parts of the building. How do I supervise the other two and complete their performance evaluations?”
If your employee handbook has been gathering dust, now’s the time to update it. Start by doing a quick audit. Spend a half-hour today ensuring your handbook meets these six criteria.
Employees will undoubtedly leave their termination meeting in a foul mood. So, don't give them any reason during that meeting to send them marching to a lawyer's office. As you'll see in the case below, one inflammatory phrase from a supervisor can spark a lawsuit...

You’ve had it up to here. Now it’s time to fire a poorly performing employee. As you’re about to do so, the employee wants to tell you something. But you tell her to “zip it.” Nothing she says will change your mind. As this case shows, you better zip it yourself and listen. Here’s why …

Drafting  performance reviews is always a daunting task for supervisors, for many legitimate reasons. In reality, it doesn’t need to be that way. One simple way to reinvent performance appraisals is to shift the responsibility for initial evaluations back to your employees.

Employers everywhere must be extra cautious about discipline that could be construed as retaliation now that the U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously affirmed that the fiancé of a woman who filed an EEOC discrimination complaint was protected from retaliation by their mutual employer.

Employers that pay new hires more than employees with the same or similar experience should be prepared to prove why they needed to sweeten the pot. Otherwise, they risk an Equal Pay Act lawsuit if it just so happens the hire is of the opposite sex as an incumbent.

The possibility of hidden bias is what makes it so important to never base a termination decision solely on one person’s recommendation. The key is to cut the connection between the supervisor’s attitude and the company’s termination decision.

Here’s a big benefit to having a strong anti-harassment policy: The policy’s very existence helps protect employers against false claims. That’s because employees won’t be able to say they endured years of harassment and didn’t know how or to whom to report it. The key is making sure employees know about your policy.

Supervisors have to make decisions on how to run the workplace every day. They can’t spend hours deliberating every move. Imagine how little actual work would get done if supervisors had to double-check every decision to make absolutely sure it was correct. Fortunately, courts don’t require perfection from employers—just assurance that they acted fairly and in good faith.

Employers can defend against alleged retaliation by showing they had a good reason for the adverse action. For example, if a supervisor moves an employee to another position for a legitimate management reason, that’s not retaliation. Consider the following case.

Employees sometimes quit and claim they had no choice because work conditions were so terrible. Sometimes, they sue. In most such cases—the argument is called “constructive discharge”—courts side with employers, provided there’s no evidence the employee suffered an adverse employment action such as a transfer, demotion or pay cut.

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