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Monthly Employee Meetings: The Cornerstone of a Performance Management System

September 6th, 2011

An effective performance management system will employ a simple structure that both the manager and direct reports honor as a commitment to be kept and meetings should be missed only in extreme situations.  Most performance management practices center around a year-end review to determine current bonus and future pay.  The employee often feels like they are judged solely on the last 90 days of their performance.  The manager struggles to provide an objective assessment as he or she finds it very difficult to look at the entire year objectively as the recent past is front and center.

We want to focus on establishing an effective mentoring process where open and honest feedback flows between the manager and employee on a regular basis.  Individual monthly meetings with each direct report should be the corner stone of this process.  Employees should prepare for the meeting by providing a description of their last 30 days.  This document should be provided in advance of the meeting and include their failures, successes, and plans for the next 30 days. The manager should be prepared to review the document, be mentally present in the meeting, accept no phone calls or interruptions, and be prepared to help with their failures, coach through their plans and celebrate their successes.  If you notice a problem, discuss it.  Don’t leave anything unturned.

Reduce Turnover Through Constant Communication

December 22nd, 2010

Build upon your early communication by reinforcing it on a regular basis. There are many schools of thought that pertain to how often you should communicate with your direct reports. I believe you should spend time one on one time with your people weekly on an informal basis to discuss normal business details. You should have a monthly one on one meeting to allow the employee to spend an hour of uninterrupted time with you to discuss important issues, challenges and successes of the last month of their work. Quarterly you should conduct formal reviews to highlight problematic performance, clearly define expected improvement, and complement quality performance.

Finally, and most importantly, do not put off or beat around the bush in conversations that deal with employee performance. Take a caring but upfront tone with your employees. You want to make sure that you maintain a respectable demeanor, be just as quick to complement as critique, and be consistent in the process with all employees.

December 2010 Newsletter – Communicating Effectively With Employees / Payroll Corner / Flexible Spending For 2011 / Year End Checklist / Reduce Tax Time Stress – Collect Tax Records Now / Holiday Season Workplace Safety / Employee Benefits In A Post-Recession Economy

November Newsletter from Four Point HR

November 8th, 2010

November 2010 – Blog Corner: Reduce Turnover / Improved Newsletter Format / A Guide To Effective Attendance Reporting / Payroll Corner / Has The Shift In The Economy Hurt Your Business? / OSHA Reaches Out To Prevent Distracted Driving / Important Tax Notes

Reduce Turnover

September 29th, 2010

Businesses across a wide array of industries experience the turnover of employees.  Change is a normal part of life and will most certainly affect our business lives.  Much of the discussion on turnover relates to the ultimate cost of rehiring and retraining after the employee leaves.  The most important discussion on turnover is determining why it happens and reducing it as you go forward.

Turnover is not remedied with a few quick fixes.  A workplace that limits turnover institutes and practices effective employment processes that begin with the interview and continue on a regular basis throughout each employment relationship. What steps does your company take to reduce turnover and improve employee relationships?

October Newsletter from Four Point HR

September 29th, 2010

October 2010 – Blog Corner: Highlights of an Effective Performance System / OSHA: Announcements & Updates / Payroll Corner: Transamerica On a Mission to Lead the Retirement Industry / IRS Releases DRAFT FORM to Help Small Businesses Claim New Health Care Tax Credit

Reduce Workers’ Compensation Claims

September 1st, 2010

In addition to the many challenges faced by business owners, the number of workers’ compensation claims tends to rise during an economic downturn.  Employers should be aware of these risks and can take three simple steps to mitigate them.

Rededicate management to safety priorities.  Distribute claim information to management, openly discuss where and why claims are occurring, discuss strategies for bringing current claimants back to work, and make management accountable to each other for results.

Observe and support staff safety meetings.  The business leader’s presence in employee safety meetings makes a strong statement that it is a priority for the business. Use these meetings to communicate that safety is vital to the success of the business and that everyone must work together on a group goal of no lost time claims.

Create a departmental incentive program.  These incentives don’t have to be large. Owners can simply provide a gift certificate to each member of a department that works one quarter without a lost time claim.  Going the department route will make every member of that department accountable to their co-workers and will incent them to think twice before filing a fraudulent claim.

How does your company reduce its workers’ comp claims?

Bank Relationships and Alternative Financing

August 26th, 2010

Now that the power brokers among the Wall Street and D.C. elite seem to be working together to renew the flow of funds into the economy, we see the rampant fear and paranoia beginning to subside. The financiers seem to understand that they have to tighten their belts, deal with their sins of the past and get onto the business of finance. Today, most businesses have felt the sting of our difficult times and have responded as quickly as possible to preserve their capital, their business health and their sanity. I can’t help feeling like we are staged in the doctor’s waiting room, unsure if we are about to get good news or bad news about our business health. Most of the business owners I meet with regularly have had their external credit sources shrink drastically or disappear entirely. This leaves very little margin for error to attempt any future-oriented operations requiring capital. That being said, do you have a bank relationship or alternative financing relationship that is extending credit to your business? If so, how did you go about finding this relationship and developing the terms that you have today?

August Newsletter from Four Point HR

August 5th, 2010

August 2010 – Communicating Critical Numbers In Your Business / Heat Stress / Homebuyer Credit Closing Deadline Extended / Payroll Corner – Points of Interest / New Hire Paperwork

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Utilizing Unpaid Internship Programs

July 7th, 2010

Unpaid internship programs can provide numerous benefits to your organization. Interns often bring energy and excitement into the workplace resulting in a positive affect on employee morale. They allow employees who may not have the opportunity to mentor regularly to do so, adding greater fulfillment to their positions. Finally, if structured properly, unpaid internships can take non-critical activities off of your busy employees and allow them to focus on more critical tasks. The Department of Labor has specific guidelines that you have to meet to ensure the position qualifies as unpaid versus paid:

  • Training is similar to the vocation or study they receive in school
  • Training is for benefit of trainee
  • Training does not displace regular employees
  • Trainee is not necessarily entitled to jobs at the end
  • Trainer and trainee understand that trainee is not entitled to wages for time spent in training

July Newsletter from Four Point HR

July 2nd, 2010

July 2010 – Dealing With Anxiety / HIRE Act Update / Understanding Unemployment / OSHA Publishes Proposed / Rulemaking / Payroll Corner / Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit

View July Newsletter

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