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Symmetry Video Series


Motivating Employees: HR tips for getting employees motivated and engaged with your company.

What Should Employers Keep in an Employee Personnel File?

It's a good idea for an employer to maintain a personnel file for each employee. Documentation of employment history, records of contribution and achievement, disciplinary notices, promotions, performance development plans, and much more, belong in a personnel file. Smart employers keep more than one personnel file, too. The employer has good reasons to keep several personnel files - some legal and some for employment best practices purposes. Documentation is needed so the employer has an accurate view of an employee's employment history. Documentation supports the employer's decisions and may protect the employer in a lawsuit - preserved correctly.

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Overcoming Bad Attitudes and Complaints

It’s no secret that it doesn’t take much to poison the workplace atmosphere. Everyone gets bad-tempered at work sometimes. Chronic negativity is a different story. Co-workers who are consistently nasty and complaining can sap the very lifeblood out of your workplace. Here are six solutions for handling problem employees’ bad attitudes and unprofessional behavior before morale suffers.

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Making your Company Uninteresting to Plaintiff Attorney’s

Want to avoid lawsuits? Make your own case in advance so you can be more confident a law firm won’t want to take your ex-employee’s case. Plaintiff attorneys assess the opportunity before choosing to represent a client: your company’s policies and practices can discourage their interest. You can make sure it would be a bad investment for the attorneys.

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8 Ways to Avoid Disastrous Discipline Mistakes

How many times have you encountered these mistakes: • Employees disciplined for doing something they have a legal right to do-like take intermittent FMLA or make an EEO complaint • Inconsistent discipline that appears to be discrimination • Discipline without hearing the employee's side of the story • Overly harsh discipline to show "who's boss" • Overly lenient discipline for a well-liked worker • And-just as bad-failure to discipline when it is clearly called for. All these mistakes are understandable in untrained supervisors, but that doesn't mean the mistakes aren't expensive. Here are some basic tips for supervisors that make discipline easier to manage from day one.

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To Screen or Not to Screen

Every employer has a legal duty to exercise due diligence in hiring. What If you don't do background screening? According to a recent California survey, employers lose 60 percent of negligent hiring cases with verdicts averaging about $3 million, and average settlements around $500,000 plus attorney fees. An employer can be sued for negligent hiring if it hires someone who it knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, was dangerous, unsafe, dishonest, or unfit for the particular job. Courts tend to assume that if you could have known, you should have known. So how much checking should you do? The jury will tell you.

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6 solutions to workplace negativity

Negative employee attitudes and less-than-professional behavior can poison the workplace atmosphere. Here are six solutions for real-life issues from subscribers on handling problem employees before morale suffers.

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Accommodating Employee Requirements

As an employer, you’ve probably heard the terms “reasonable accommodation.” It’s a hot button phrase tossed around, but rarely to managers and employers ask what those terms really mean. Who do you have to accommodate? What’s reasonable? These are all thorny questions that courts have been trying to suss out. This is a topic many employers with have to confront at some point—according to the American Council of Life Insurers, one in three workers between the ages of 35 and 65 will suffer a serious disability. First, who do you have to accommodate? Accommodation falls under two big government laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Today, we are going to talk about the ADA.

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12 Manager Mistakes That Spark Lawsuits

Lawsuits by employees against their employers have grown tremendously in the past decade. Sometimes those lawsuits have merit, sometimes they don't. But, either way, those lawsuits cost time and money to fight-money that is better spent on product development, training and raises. Even worse, some laws-including federal overtime law and the Family and Medical Leave Act-allow employees to sue their supervisors directly, meaning a manager's personal bank account could be at stake.

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Three tips to remember when counseling and disciplining employees

There is nothing like a gentle reminder or a “cheat sheet” to look at when counseling or disciplining employees. The key thing to remember is that although nothing can absolutely insulate you from claims of discrimination or wrongdoing, there are steps you can take to get to the ultimate goal of improving an employee’s performance or, alternatively, terminating an at-will employee when counseling and discipline haven’t facilitated acceptable improvement.

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Documents, documents, documents: What to keep, what to shred

The hiring process has a way of creating a lot of paperwork. A single job opening can bring a flood of resumes, cover letters, and applications from a horde of hopefuls. Once the decision has been made, the question becomes what to do with the pile of documents the hiring process generates.

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