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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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Bad managers are not consciously aware that they’re bad managers. And if they are aware of it, they’re probably not willing to admit it to anyone. Nobody wants to think they might be the problem. Here are a few clues:

If you decide to pay new hires more than employees with similar or better qualifications, be prepared to prove why you needed to sweeten the pot. Otherwise, you could be risking an Equal Pay Act lawsuit if an incumbent belongs to a protected class.

Smaller organizations often have little or no budget to train their management teams. But no budget doesn’t have to mean no training. Here is a list of some of the best free online training for managers and HR professionals offered by colleges and reputable organizations ...

If your managers and supervisors respond to reference calls by offering negative information, a lawsuit is probably coming. One reason: A whole new industry has emerged to help former employees find out what their old bosses are saying about them. That makes it more important than ever to refer all reference check calls to HR.
Maintaining personnel records used to be a whole lot simpler. In fact, any HR department that wanted to be absolutely safe on the subject simply issued a “keep everything” policy. But now, that same “keep everything” strategy can cost you as much as a lawsuit. Maybe even more.
With some employees, the problem isn't a matter of ability, it's a matter of attitude. This can manifest itself in everything from quiet disobedience to outright insubordination. How should you respond?
Question: “I’m not sure how to handle my new supervisory position. Before being promoted, I was friends with my former co-workers, so I’m finding it difficult to tell them what to do ... I know I have to demonstrate leadership, but I’m afraid this will turn me into an unlikeable person. After all, does anyone really like their boss?” — Nice Guy

Some employees may manufacture complaints when they think they’re in trouble at work. That’s why it’s so important to maintain good records of all work problems, discipline and complaints. Employers that can prove they were raising concerns about performance before the employee complained about discrimination or harassment effectively cut the causal link between the complaint and the alleged retaliation.

Fired employees often sue, alleging that they were treated less favorably than other employees outside their protected class. To prove that in court, employees have to show that the other employees committed the same violation or mistake and weren’t fired. That’s hard to counter if your records aren’t clear and complete.

Employers have an obligation to try to prevent harassment when it erupts. But courts often give an “A” for effort. They won’t measure your efforts solely by whether your prevention strategy worked.
Minnesota’s personnel record rules can cause problems for employers that don’t operate primarily in the state. For example, employers that aren’t used to the rules may not realize that employees can challenge the truthfulness of information in personnel records and then sue for defamation.
Some employees believe that if their supervisor tolerates misconduct, those further up the workplace hierarchy can’t do anything about it. That’s not true.

After two years of painful payroll reductions, there’s enough light at the end of the recessionary tunnel for some employers to begin considering pay raises. In many organizations, pay hikes will come in the form of variable compensation plans. Experts say two tactics can help HR pros create variable pay plans that strike a balance between risk, reward and fiscal stability.

Spring cleaning? Be sure to dust off and update your employee handbook too. Pay attention to this important point: When it comes to discipline policies, give yourself some flexibility to deal with unusual circumstances. Steer clear of complicated policies that try to categorize every conceivable offense for which employees could be fired.

Q. An employee has asked to have his wife present during his performance evaluation. Does he have the right to bring a representative?
It would be nice if all employees came to work on time, performed efficiently and pleasantly, and were thankful for their paycheck. But employers know that employees sometimes fall far short of your hopes. Here are the steps to work through as you decide how to proceed:
The key to complying with the FLSA lies in accurate record-keeping. How you track hours is largely up to you, but you must beware several factors that can compromise wage-and-hour compliance. Here are five key strategies to help make sure you stay on the right side of the law.
Making variable pay work requires lots of interaction throughout the organization before, during and after implementation. As the business unit most likely in charge of implementation, it’s up to HR to make sure that happens. Here's how to do it.

Smart employers respond to every harassment and discrimination complaint and follow up even if they believe there was nothing to the complaint. But some employers ignore this simple advice and choose to blow off employee complaints instead of logging them, investigating and making a determination about what happened. That’s a huge mistake.

Here’s a tip if you are revising your employee handbook: When it comes to discipline, make sure you give yourself some flexibility to deal with unusual circumstances. For example, if you want to use progressive discipline, be sure to account for the rare situations that may warrant immediate suspension or discharge.

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