For Best HR Performance Reviews, 10 Sample Goal Phrases



Do you struggle to write the right phrases when giving performance appraisals? If so, you’re not alone.

Naturally, the first step is you must correctly identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. You’ll accomplish this goal by avoiding 12 typical errors.

However, in employee-performance reviews, many managers struggle in trying to think of the right phrasing that actually motivate employees.

The reasons all stem from fear.

Because of fear, the reasons range from worrying about an employee lawsuit to paralysis from analysis in not knowing how or what to write.

Much has been written about preferred skills for managers.

We always talk in mundane terms for the need of managers to convey a vision, achieve goals and to foster growth and well-being for a work-life balance.

Seldom do we talk about courage – a critical characteristic of effective managers.

Employee appraisals are far more than just evaluations.

When implemented well, they serve as opportunities for organization growth because they increase individual employee productivity.

As every manager knows, a well-written set of performance goals work to motivate employees and help them to focus better on their responsibilities.

But they must be written with the right phrasing so they inspire performance and don’t invite costly lawsuits in this 21st century litigious society.

Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person. You must say the right things in difficult situations with employees.

Courtesy of Business Management Daily, there are 10 recommended phrases for managers to use in performance reviews.

They are from “2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals” by HR executive Paul Falcone.

The 10 phrases:

1. To encourage initiative: “Seek ways to assume responsibilities beyond your current job description.”

2. To require punctuality: “Be on time for all meetings, which shows you respect your colleagues’ time.”

3. To foster a better attitude: “Ensure that your tone, body language and other nonverbal cues convey the proper respect and attitude toward others.”

4.To improve communication: “Anticipate what your manager will need to know, and provide that information.” For managers: “Keep team members informed of each other’s actions.”

5. To spur creativity: “Build relationships among peers that foster collaboration and discussion of new ideas.”

6. To boost customer service: “When we lose a customer, follow up to discover what we could have done differently.”

7. To nurture diversity: “Appreciate the unique perspective, skills and experience that each person brings to the team.”

8. To improve planning: “Begin projects by identifying all the resources required, including staff, funding, materials and other support.”

9. To promote better listening: “Show by asking open-ended questions that you are engaged in conversations.”

10. To foster leadership: “Discover the problems that prevent team members from performing at the highest possible levels.”

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks for relevant strategies:

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

10 Tips on Responding to EEOC Complaints — Despite all the court cases, warnings and complaints filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a study shows big companies are guilty of favoritism in their promotion practices. If you’re so accused, here’s what to do.

3 Crucial Tactics Are Needed to Maintain Your Culture — As your company grows, you can expect growing pains and threats to your culture. Whether you create it or not, your business culture happens. There are at least three steps needed to fashion your culture the way you want.

Best Employee-Handbook Values to Avoid Legal Issues — Neither you, nor your company and nor should your employees be relying on an employee handbook with illegal or antiquated policies. Here are employee-handbook values to consider.

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.”

-Andrew Carnegie


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Employer Tips: How to Deal with a Visit from ICE


A visit from ICE – the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement – is a cause for concern.

Of course, there’s no need to panic if you’ve already taken the right precautions to avoid legal hassles with ICE.

However, if you haven’t completed your due diligence, you risk massive fines.

Worse, historically employers and their HR employees have also been jailed for violations.

So not only do you have to be diligent in organizing your I-9s, you have to be very diligent in your response to an NOI.

Your response sets the stage for communication, either effectively defending your company or possible negotiations and a settlement with ICE.

Assuming you sanction your receptionist to accept and receive important documents like a notice of inspection (NOI), require the person to immediately notify you and/or your second-in-command and your human resources manager.

Your attorney should advise you and take the lead. Otherwise, only a designated manager should have further contact with ICE.

You’ll be required by law to respond within three days – 72 hours.

What NOIs mean

ICE wants to see:

  • Your I-9 forms for both current and recently terminated employees
  • Payroll records
  • List of current employees
  • Information regarding the company’s owners

If an ICE agent shows up at your office with an NOI, here are two strategies:

1. Interfacing with ICE 

Don’t be lulled into thinking the person is on your side. Don’t let the ICE agent trick you into saying something that could be used against you later.

Assume the agent is there to build a case.

Be civil, honest, brief and thoughtful. That also means being careful what you say – like you would in a courtroom – don’t say more than is needed.

Don’t rush the process even if you’re confident. Take your full allotted time to respond.

Your immigration attorney should audit your paperwork.

Additionally, your lawyer should help you respond by interfacing with ICE – for the audit and any extenuating circumstances.

Ideally, you have been thorough in your planning.

However, if you’re unsure about anything mentioned in the NOI, it’s businesslike within the three-day period to ask for two things: Elucidation and confirmation of your request and ICE’s answer.

(Again, your attorney should be involved.)

2. Paper trail … paper trail … and paper trail

Accuracy is vital and make certain you make a list of the information you give ICE.

The ICE audit won’t be conducted at your office. It will be on ICE’s turf – the government office.

Consider giving the agent a carbon copy of your I-9 forms with supporting records. Then, ask for a receipt of your list and documentation.

Finally, keep careful notes of any verbal communication, and document all details in an e-mail or letter to ICE.

From the Coach’s Corner, more HR tips to avoid legal problems:

Management/HR Tips: Checking References of Applicants –– Even if you believe you’ve found an impeccable candidate, you must conduct precise reference checks. If you don’t, you risk paying a high price later.

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations –– As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Management: 5 Most Common Reasons to Fire Employees — With difficult employees, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. Here’s what to do.

With Fraud Running Rampant, How HR Can Help Prevent It — By taking alert measures, human resources can play a major role to put a dent in the global epidemic of fraud in the workplace.

Tips for Handling Your Employees’ Wage Garnishments — Handling wage garnishments of your employees’ paychecks – including communication – is a very sensitive issue. Here are four management tips.

“Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.”

-Warren Bennis


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




These 13 Red Flags Are Signs Employees Dislike You



Your employees might not tell you that they hate you, but there are many signs that will tip you off.

There might be reasons for it. Whether you’re lacking in soft-communication skills that create warm fuzzies or you’re simply an out-and-out tyrant, either way your employees will think you’re a bad boss.

You’ll be in the dark if they want to make sure they keep their jobs.

However, you’ll find out what employees think about you if you learn to enhance your EI, or emotional intelligence.

That’s the first step whether to improve your communication skills or to learn best practices in management.

(Scroll down to the Coach’s Corner for helpful hints.)

Obviously, it’s best if employees respect you. They’ll have better morale which leads to creativity, teamwork, productivity and profits.

If you’re a manager it also minimizes the likelihoods of you getting fired, or with employees filing complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If employees dislike you, here are the red flags:

1. Your instinctive feeling

Consider what your gut tells you. Perhaps you don’t know why you’re uncomfortable, but you simply feel something’s amiss with your relationships.

2. Employees aren’t enthusiastic

If it appears they’re not enthusiastic about pitching in on projects or they don’t seem diligent in their work, that’s a sign.

3. High rate of tardiness, absenteeism

Employees, who are often late, take long breaks, leave early or don’t show up at work because they’re sick or stressed, it’s often because they don’t like your company.

4. Employees avoid you

People avoid a boss when they feel intimidated or they don’t like the person. For instance, employees might turn their back when you’re nearby or head for the stairs when you’re near the elevator.

5. Poor eye contact

If you have an employee who maintains good eye contact with others but not with you, it’s not a good sign. Weak eye contact makes it easier for them to hide their contempt for you.

6. Employees don’t smile around you

If employees habitually don’t smile when with you but smile or laugh with others, you’ve likely got a problem.

A related omen: If employees stop smiling or joking when you enter the room. They obviously don’t feel comfortable with you.

7. You’re not included in social events 

If you’re not invited to happy hours or other get-togethers, your employees indirectly are telling you they want to minimize their time spent with you.

8. Negative body language

You know what it means when someone constantly folds their arms or when their eyes glaze over when you talk, right?

9. Employees are abrupt

Try an experiment by cordially greeting your employees. If on Monday you ask them how their weekend was or how their day is going, if they always say “fine,” you’ve got troubles.

10. Their preferred communication is email

Unhappy workers will minimize their personal contact with you. This is especially true if their emails don’t have a greeting, such as “hi” or “hello.”

11. Their office door is usually closed

A frequently closed door usually means the person is on the phone looking for another job, commiserating with friends or family, or asking someone for advice.

12. Consistent disagreement

Aggressive personalities are less likely to avoid you. But they don’t refrain from conversations because they want to argue with you.

It’s also possible they aren’t afraid of personality clashes because they’re sick and tired of working for a tyrant. Whoa.

13. Employees are quitting without offering a good reason

To paraphrase an axiom: People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their boss. If, on exit interviews, employees don’t cite a reason, it’s often because they don’t like or respect you. Ouch.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant topics:

How to Grow Your EI for Leadership Success — Emotional intelligence (EI) is important for communication and leadership. A person who has EI is able to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem.

HR: Say the Right Things in Difficult Situations with Employees — Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person. Here are 10 tips.

‘That’s the Way It Is’ – Often a Lazy Reaction to Employees — When employees question your policies, don’t let your ego dictate how you react to them. Consider it as though they’re merely questioning you. They just might be positive change agents for you. So here’s how to profit from change agents.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided.


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net


HR: Say the Right Things in Difficult Situations with Employees



Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person.

With under-performing employees, these are critical conversations. They can be a challenge.

Certainly, you want to get the right results. Saying things the wrong way can escalate into a lawsuit.

In difficult conversations with employees, here’s how to manage the risks:

1. Don’t procrastinate

If you have a poor-performing employee, deal with the situation as quickly as you can.

Keep in mind the employee probably anticipates that a discussion is forthcoming.

Certainly, you want to solve problems right away.

With an employee who has a poor attitude, you also might be dealing with a person who is intent on a pre-emptive strike against your company.

Avoid the appearance of being retaliatory. So prepare:  Document the need for the discussion, and why and when it’s scheduled.

2. Prepare documentation

Spend adequate time preparing documentation. There are two documents you’ll need: 1. Your talking points for you to use. 2. Paperwork to give your employee.

Initially, give the employee the paperwork – whether it’s an appraisal or memo. Give the person time to read it.

3. Include illustrations

Don’t generalize. Provide specific examples about the employee’s behavior or performance. If you’re minimizing the number of examples for now, say so.

There two reasons for providing specific examples.

You don’t want to unknowingly give ammunition to the employee for a lawsuit. On the positive side, however, you might be opening the door for the employee to improve.

4. Don’t discuss the person’s intent

Stay calm and don’t speculate. Don’t get into the person’s possible intentions or motives. That’s irrelevant and too difficult to prove, and it only gives the employee more ammunition against you.

Certainly, you want to be helpful to the person, but again don’t get into intent or motive.

To be supportive, you can say something like, “We want you to be successful.”

Don’t ask why the person is underperforming – whether it might be a physical or emotional problem – or the person’s work-life management issue.

If you do, more than likely you’ll be opening the door to an ADA disability claim.

Focus on results.

If the employee mentions a condition, disability or a religious belief, get ready for a longer discussion.

5. Don’t make any excuses

Be careful and don’t make any excuses or admissions. Certainly if the company is at-fault, the employee should not be reproached.

But don’t try to soften the blow of a criticism by saying something such as, “It’s the company’s fault as much as yours.”

Management shouldn’t take responsibility unless it’s appropriate.

6. Be careful about your verbiage

Avoid the appearance of bias. Take every precaution to be objective. That means being careful not to use words that might lead to a discrimination complaint against you.

Focus on principles, not personalities. Don’t label the person.

If you label the employee as “rigid,” you’ll be giving the person an opportunity to disingenuously claim that you’re either discriminatory on either age or on gender discrimination, or both.

7. Don’t speak with certain forms of finality

Eliminate any opportunity for the person to accuse you of making exaggerations or being untruthful. Avoid saying “always” and “never.”

Trust me, the person will come up with exceptions and will be able to point out you’re making inaccurate statements. That will spell legal trouble for you.

8. Prepare to listen

Allow the person to respond. Your employee might make valid comments.

With good fortune, the person will offer reasons for the behavior or performance. This might open the door for improvement.

Take good chronological notes as the person talks. Be very cognizant of what is said and what isn’t.

For instance, if the person doesn’t talk but later claims it was discussed in the meeting that you did something unprofessional, your notes will be instrumental in denying any legal liability.

9. Don’t engage in small talk

Don’t casually converse with the person. Be respectful, but start by mentioning it will be a difficult discussion. Then get to the points you want to cover.

Be very careful. Don’t ask about the person’s health or family.

You might be trying to do the right thing, but if you show what you intend to be empathy you’ll find yourself headed for a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

10. Outline your expectations

In addition to specifying your concerns about the person’s performance, carefully explain what you expect for the future.

This includes your objective. Hopefully, you’ll save the employee and get a strong improvement.

If not, you’ll have a documented record of the discussion.

Good luck. Do these things and you’ll minimize any legal danger.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

Workplace Bullying – Tips for Victims and Bosses — Workplace issues include bullying. It’s a widespread problem for employers and employees, alike.
Here are valuable tips for both employers and workplace victims.

Management: 5 Most Common Reasons to Fire Employees — With difficult employees, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. Here’s what to do.

“Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.”

-Warren Bennis


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements



You might want to review your current human resource policies.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Why?

Employers are still falling into trouble with the federal agency.

Managers are aware of the EEOC dictates on leave, but ostensibly aren’t fully aware of the circumstances that require it. That includes how much leave should be allowed.

ID-10041427For instance, the EEOC hammers away at equal access to leave.

All employees should receive the same consideration – when disabled employees desire leave under leave policy – that goes even for employees who want leave for reasons that don’t relate to disability.

If you give an employee without documentation paid time off for any reason with little notice, all employees must be given it.

On the other hand, if you require documentation for sick leave, all other employees must provide documentation.

FMLA

Employers have been sanctioned after they haven’t granted unpaid leave under ADA guidelines if workers request after they have used up their leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The EEOC also requires additional unpaid leave even it isn’t covered by company policy – unless it would be an undue hardship on the company.

Plus, after maxing out leave, employers must consider allowing more unpaid time under the ADA.

Duration of leave

Employers must consider granting leave as a “reasonable accommodation” whenever employees ask for intermittent or continuous under the ADA.

The EEOC considers leave as a reasonable accommodation only if the company allows an employee to return to work after exhausting the leave. In this instance, it isn’t considerable reasonable if an employee asks for indefinite leave.

When a worker estimates the date of returning to work, the employer must contemplate if the leave would cause undue hardship.

The company must consider whether or not an additional request to extend the person’s leave would create undue hardship.

The EEOC doesn’t specify what constitutes undue hardship. Each employee and the employer is situationally different.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

10 Tips on Responding to EEOC Complaints — Despite all the court cases, warnings and complaints filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a study shows big companies are guilty of favoritism in their promotion practices. If you’re so accused, here’s what to do.

Effectively Manage ADA Issues in Your Facilities and HR — Disabled persons have had both valid and invalid complaints about the workplace. Such complaints concern your facilities and human resources program. Here are strategies to consider implementing.

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

HR Tips to Avoid Legal Hassles with Immigration and Customs Enforcement — Employers have been having problems with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Here’s how to avoid issues.

Why Companies Fall into the Management Lawsuit Trap — Small and many big companies are ripe for EEOC complaints. The majority of lawsuits targeting management usually stem from a half dozen poor practices. You’ll get into trouble using these six bad practices.

Strategies: If a Valued Employee Wants a Raise, and Money’s Tight — Many companies don’t have a compensation policy. And your company might be like the majority of small businesses or nonprofits in this uncertain economy – having difficulty funding even merit raises. So what’s the right thing to do with a valued employee who asks for a raise, whether or not you’re the final decision-maker?

“When you straddle a thing it takes a long time to explain it.”

-Will Rogers


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

How to Increase Conversion Rates of Online Job Applicants



Your business is not alone when it comes to the high costs incurred in the recruitment of job applicants online. Most job seekers get frustrated and quit in the middle of their online applications.

When job seekers quit the application process you lose in the recruitment of some of the best talent. Plus, your word-of-mouth recruitment is hurt when the applicants complain to their friends about your process.

So, poor online conversion increases your recruitment costs.

Lengthy applications do not weed out weak applicants. The opposite is true.

Strong candidates have a good sense of self-worth. They know their time is important, and they are fully aware they’ll get multiple job offers. They’re the quickest to quit the process.

Applicants are online at any hour of the day or night.

1452928274zkwuyIncrease your conversion rates with 10 tips:

1. In your messaging to the right candidates, explain your team and company culture, and adequately explain to applicants your WIIFM statement – “what’s in it for me.”

2. Keep in mind that your application is being viewed in multiple formats – desktops, notebooks and mobile devices.

Among Millennials, the vast majority use smartphones. So be user-friendly.

3. Keep a balance in what’s convenient for you and what’s convenient for applicants. Minimize the length of the application process.

Try to reduce your application process to as few as five minutes.

4. Strategically decide what information you need initially to screen applicants. That would include their names, contact information, and resume or LinkedIn profile.

Avoid asking applicants to click on five or six screens upfront.

5. Don’t cause repetitive steps. After applicants have inserted a resume, they resent having to re-insert it again into an applicant tracking system (ATS).

“Recruiting talent is no different than any other challenge a startup faces. It’s all about selling.”

-Vivek Wadhwa

6. Some employers require candidates to create a career-site account and an ATS account. Don’t require applicants to log into more than one account.

7. To help reduce your recruitment time and costs, remember you obviously won’t hire 99.9 percent of applicants. So don’t ask everyone to provide references.

Wait until you decide to hire a candidate before you ask for references.

8. If you use a cost-per-click pricing model, lower your costs by simplifying your application form.

9. Note the length of your application form is inflated on tablets and smartphones. Consider allowing applicants to apply with their LinkedIn profiles or resumes from Dropbox.

10. Pay adequate attention to your job descriptions. Include all pertinent details, which should total a minimum of 250 or 300 words. But don’t include unnecessary words or details.

From the Coach’s Corner, more recruiting tips:

Critical HR Recruiting Strategies for Business Profit — By developing strategic recruiting plans, human resources professionals will make significant contributions to the bottom-line profit goals of their employers. So, it’s imperative to innovate in your recruiting processes and market your strategies to senior management and hiring managers.

HR – Do you Partner with IT for Top Online Recruiting? — If you’re talented in recruiting the best talent, talented applicants will appreciate your talent. That underscores the need to partner with information technology in online recruiting.

HR Trends: 12 Ideal Perks for Recruiting Top Millennials — Welcome to the new world of employee recruitment as Millennials are replacing Baby Boomers. Work-life balance is the No. 1 priority for Millennials – ages 18 to 33 – especially those who are parents. Here’s how to recruit around the trend.

How to Rock Your Human Resources with Employee Referrals — Admittedly, there’s a myriad of ways to recruit great employees. But no recruitment option surpasses a well-executed, strategic employee-referral program.

Write Better Job Descriptions to Attract Best Talent – 16 Tips — To inspire the best candidates to apply for your opening, there are at least 16 strategies to incorporate in your job description.

HR Management: Think Like a Sales Pro to Recruit the Best Talent — One-size-fits-all approach to recruiting employees is not a strategy. You and your peers in human resources might be enamored with technology, but job candidates want more focus on the personal touch. That necessitates thinking like a sales professional.

“Recruiting talent is no different than any other challenge a startup faces. It’s all about selling.”

-Vivek Wadhwa


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

 




With Fraud Running Rampant, How HR Can Help Prevent It


By taking alert measures, human resources can play a major role to put a dent in the global epidemic of fraud in the workplace.

An authoritative study reveals more than $6.3 billion in actual losses from occupational fraud in 2,410 cases.

The median loss of in fraud cases was $150,000, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in 2016. Some larger organizations suffered from multiple cases of fraud.

ACFE says the actual fraud losses in the aggregate total in the trillions of dollars.

The typical company suffers a five percent loss in revenue.

Investigators say human resources can help in the fight against fraud with comprehensive pre-hiring background checks including senior managers, as well as being on guard for unusual behavior of workers and using other tactics.

HR managerFrom the most common to the least common, ACFE outlines three broad categories of fraud:

— “Asset misappropriation” such as stealing of cash, equipment and information which includes billing schemes, cash larceny, check tampering, false expenses, phony disbursements, and payroll fraud.

— “Corruption fraud” includes conflict of interest, and bribery and extortion.

— “Financial statement fraud.”

Executive fraud

Executives committed 18.9 percent of the fraud with a median loss of $703,000. They are able to evade controls more easily than other employees.

Managers were responsible for 35.8 percent with a median loss of $173,000.

Subordinates committed 40.9 percent for a median loss of $65,000.

Sixty-nine percent were male fraudsters with a median loss of $187,000. While women fraudsters accounted for a median loss of $100,000.

About half of the wrongdoers had been with their employers for more than five years. Their median loss was $240.000.

Fifty-five percent were between 31 and 45 years old. Those over 40 were accountable for a $250,000 median loss.

Sixty-one percent had a college degree or higher and committed a median loss of $207,000. Less educated fraudsters had a $100,000 median loss.

Early detection

HR can help prevent fraud by being on the lookout for six so-called red flags in behavior of the workforce.

Behavioral red flags include:

  1. Living beyond means – 45.8 percent of the cases
  2. Financial difficulties – 30 percent
  3. Unusually close relationships with vendors or customers – 20.1 percent
  4. Excessive control issues – 15.3 percent
  5. A “wheeler-dealer” attitude involving unscrupulous behavior – 15.3 percent
  6. Recent divorce or family problems – 13.4 percent

In addition to effective financial controls and extensive background checks, ACFE recommends fraud hotlines, job rotation, mandatory vacations, fraud training, and support programs.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:

Embezzlement: Guidelines to Uncover and Prevent it — Embezzlement is a widespread nightmare. Here are proven strategies to discover embezzlement, and to prevent from occurring.

Embezzlement Tips to Protect Your Nonprofit or Company Assets —  Embezzlement is a widespread nightmare in business and the public sector. If you surf the Internet using the key word, embezzlement, you’ll find seemingly countless headlines. Upper management commits 18 percent of fraud, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in 2010. ACFE also said accounting department employees commit 29 percent of fraud.

10 Unusual Prevention Tips to Effectively Fight Fraud — If you ever think you might be victimized by fraud, you probably are. Businesspeople are typically victimized by fraud in several ways. The causes will surprise you. Here are simple ways to prevent fraud.

Beware: Small Businesses Lose Trillions to Worker Fraud — Small companies are fleeced by an aggregate in the trillions of dollars from employee fraud — suggesting the need for financial controls.

HR — Avoid the 10 Most Common Background Screening Gaffes — In human resources, all background checks are not equal. It’s important to avoid the 10 most-common background-screening errors.

Risk Management in Hiring: Pre-Employment Screening Tips — Here are two questions about hiring: 1) what’s the biggest mistake companies make in hiring employees; and 2) what’s the biggest legal obstacle employers face in hiring? Here’s what to do about background screening

Best Management/HR Tips: Check References of Applicants — Even if you believe you’ve found an impeccable candidate, you must conduct precise reference checks. If you don’t, you risk paying a high price later.

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

“The challenge for capitalism is that the things that breed trust also breed the environment for fraud.”

-James Surowiecki


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





7 Tactics to Enjoy Your Job Managing Difficult Employees



With a difficult employee, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. But you can learn to love your job as a manager of difficult employees.

If it were so easy to manage difficult people, then everybody would be doing it. But the simple fact is – not all employees are collaborative, diligent, hardworking, skilled, and great at listening.

If you’ve been in management long, you know that some employees are collaborative but others aren’t. Some are diligent; some aren’t diligent. Some work hard but others don’t work hard. Some employees have talent, but others have mediocre skills.

stockimages hairEven though talent is desirable, it means nothing if employees don’t have an enthusiastic attitude. A company filled with employees with great attitudes will ultimately triumph over businesses that have employees who only possess talent.

Otherwise, it’s difficult to manage people who are hard to manage.

To manage difficult people, here are seven tactics:

1. Accept the concept that you have a difficult job

Once you accept the notion that management is difficult, you’ll make best use of your time. Approach your job with the best mindset for management – treat it as an adventure. Think positively.

2. Develop EI as a strength

For optimal performance, there’s one key trait that ideally encompasses all the skills – emotional intelligence (EI). That means they have great attitudes because they listen and are trainable.

Yes, employees with a strong EI quotient are usually more collaborative, diligent, hardworking and skilled. They have motivation and they can be motivated to even higher performance.

Unfortunately, many employees don’t have enough EI. To solve the dilemma, it behooves managers to develop their own EI.

EI is important for you as a manager in communication and leadership. A person who has EI is able to evaluate, understand, and control emotions. (It’s possible for managers to grow their personal EI for leadership success.)

In turn, this will make it possible to manage the entire group of employees. Personalities in the workplace are variable, which means each person must be managed individually.

3. Don’t be a victim with a fight or flight syndrome

Keep your cool. Analyze each problem employee objectively – to develop a constructive, even-handed approach. Don’t let your ego get in the way.

Don’t just shut down conversations. Before you dismiss an employee’s complaints, determine if the person has a valid point.

Conversely, don’t procrastinate if you have employee issues. Toxic employees warrant your best coaching tactics.

So, model good behavior.  Be a good example – a positive role model. Do your best to communicate.

Be careful how you communicate when you’re aggravated, overworked or stressed. Develop your attributes for effective communication.

Use positive body language, and keep confidences.

4. Use your EI to empathize

Mind your biases. For instance, if you’re a man, would you perceive an employee’s comment as grousing if it was made by a woman? Or would you dismiss it if it was someone from a different generation or color?

Sometimes there are valid reasons why a person is hard to manage. Perhaps the individual has family issues at home.

“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.”

-Saadi

Sometimes managers aren’t efficient in managing difficult people. Consider your management approach. Are you using best practices or are you a catalyst for negativity? Are you micromanaging?

Either way, look at the big picture – develop insights into what the causes are.

5. For management dilemmas, get some expertise

Don’t forget to seek guidance. You’ll need to get an objective opinion from someone who has been successful in managing difficult personalities. This is the person to whom to vent.

Your first option is to seek a mentor outside your company. Someone who is savvy but in whom you trust to keep your conversations confidential.

If you’re an employee of the company, then, it’s also suggested that you discuss your situation with a reliable human resources person or your manager.

6. Keep an open door

Encourage your employees to come to you first. Make certain that negative feedback doesn’t become adversarial. By encouraging employees to approach you, you’re more likely to avert malicious gossip or a morale issue in your workplace.

However, take care to be a manager – not a cozy friend. Be an active listener. Remember you might not be in a position to solve an issue right away. Give it some thought. And perhaps discuss it with your mentor.

7. Understand the difference between a thoughtful employee and a chronic complainer 

Chances are a chronic complainer – whether it be about co-workers or company policy – is not a fit for your organization.

Know when to draw the line on such employees. Never threaten or react with anger. Reflect on the person. Decide on what’s best for your organization as well as the individual.

For progress, a business needs human interaction for ideas and innovation. Sometimes, argument, debate and conflict prove to be productive catalysts for high performance. But when it isn’t you must manage conflict for high performance.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related management tips:

Are You Guilty of Micromanaging? Here’s How to Stop — Micromanagement is a ramification of ignoring best practices in management. People who micromanage lose maximum efficiency, productivity and teamwork – in other words, optimal profitability.

6 Tips to Get Good Employee Ideas, not Whining — Do you have employees who contribute positive ideas? Or do you have employees who always seem to whine? Aimless complaining is a symptom of problems in teamwork, morale, negativity and/or productivity. Here are six management strategies.

18 Leadership Strategies to Earn Employee Respect — Here are 18 strategies to profit from good labor relations, and to leverage the perspective of employees – your company’s human capital.

Human Resources: 12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations — How should you properly evaluate employees? Make sure you are careful to avoid errors in evaluations. Naturally, you want to praise good performance and discourage bad. What are the best ways? Here’s how to avoid making those classic mistakes.

Advice for Men: How to Manage Women Employees — You must exercise due diligence to motivate talented employees and retain them for an efficient and productive workplace. But many male managers unwittingly mismanage their female employees.

“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.”

-Saadi


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

HR: Effectively Manage ADA Issues in Your Facilities



Disabled persons have had both valid and invalid complaints about the workplace. Such complaints concern your facilities and human resources program.

Unfortunately, published reports indicate businesspeople have had to contend with disingenuous claims by some lawyers with repeat clients.

Such lawyers are making a living for dubious reasons from Title III the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title III of the ADA).

PraisaengIt is complex legislation regarding public accommodations and commercial facilities. So it isn’t easy-to-understand.

Use any term you want to describe the insincere lawsuits – from “frivolous” to “drive-by.” They aren’t necessarily filed to help disabled people.

Many have conducted furtive incursions into businesses.

Just as many businesses have used mystery shoppers to ascertain the quality of their cust0mer-service employees, such attorneys have sent hired guns to inspect business locations looking for possible ADA violations and insignificant technical issues.

So it’s important for businesses to take precautions in their workplaces – both in their facilities and in their approach to human resources.

This article is designed to open your eyes to possible dangers. Admittedly, as a management consultant I’m not an attorney, therefore I suggest you seek appropriate legal counsel.

Meantime, I’d consider these Title III precautions:

1. Hire an architect who is an expert in Title IIIFollow through on the architect’s recommendations.

2. If you lease office or commercial space, review your lease for possible liability. In the event your facilities are vulnerable to ADA claims, you have to make certain you’re not sued along with your landlord.

3. Assess your strategy if you feel you’ve been hit with a frivolous lawsuit. My philosophy is that principle matters. Perhaps you might not want to cave to disingenuous claims.

For dubious plaintiff complaints to succeed, their lawyers must prove a few things:

— There must be proof a violation exists.

— The disabled applicants have actually been in your workplace and that they intend to return to the site of the alleged ADA violation, or that they will most certainly encounter discrimination when they do.

4. Be careful to save money. For instance, deposing witnesses in the discovery process can result in expensive attorney fees from both sides.

You also risk having to pay opposing lawyer fees even if you lose on a merely minor point.

5. Research the opposing attorney. You might learn the attorney has a pattern of filing frivolous cases. Sometimes, they’re negligent in taking shortcuts. If so, consider ways to make it too expensive for the lawyer to continue the practice of victimizing you and other business owners.

Precautions in human resources:

  1. Review your job descriptions. Make certain they’re accurate. spell out essential functions, and are otherwise up-to-date and lawful.
  2. When recruiting, conduct interviews that focus on the candidates’ abilities to succeed in the essential job functions.
  3. Train your staff members – who are involved in the recruiting and hiring processes – regarding all ADA requirements.
  4. Provide continuous training on how to make medical inquiries.
  5. Train your employees on what to do – in your obligations as an employer – if an employee volunteers personal disability information.
  6. Create a paper trail – diligently document the reasons if you make an adverse employment decision regarding a disabled candidate.
  7. Take the high moral road, but if you can reasonably justify denying reasonable accommodation, carefully document the reasons.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant tips:

Why Companies Fall into the Management Lawsuit Trap — Small and many big companies are ripe for EEOC complaints. The majority of lawsuits targeting management usually stem from a half dozen poor practices. You’ll get into trouble using these six bad practices.

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

10 Tips on Responding to EEOC Complaints — Despite all the court cases, warnings and complaints filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a study shows big companies are guilty of favoritism in their promotion practices. It’s true that certain people are identified and groomed for promotion.

Diversity: Political Correctness or the Right Thing for Your Business? — Whenever you hire a new employee, you surely want a return on your investment of time, energy and money in your recruitment and hiring process. But in affirmative action plans you face obstacles — primarily, from your culture. Here’s what to do.

HR Tips to Avoid Legal Hassles with Immigration and Customs Enforcement — This includes strategies on how to respond to an ICE audit. Employers have been having problems with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE served 3,004 notices of inspection (NOI) in fiscal 2012.

HR Tips — So Your Recruiting Enhances Diversity, Not Sexism — Can we agree that a diverse workplace leads to innovation, problem-solving and enhanced enterprise communication? And, as you know, inequality is unlawful. Why then are there so many companies that unknowingly, perhaps, promote sexism? That’s right. An academic study shows that many job postings are gender biased.

“It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I’m not crazy about using.”

-Marlee Matlin


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of Praisaeng at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Best Practices to Evaluate Your HR Performance



To reach profit goals, leading organizations assess the performance of their human resources programs.

If you want to accurately analyze the performance of your HR, at the very least you must research two areas: What employees perceive and what your analytics show about your HR program.

Employee perceptions

Your mission should be to obtain employee feedback. Your options include targeted surveys, interviews or focus groups.

You will get best results by retaining a skilled outside participant, usually a management consultant, to conduct in-person interviews by asking open-ended questions.

business discussionsYes or no answers from closed-ended questions don’t yield nearly as much information as strategic open-ended questions.

Plus, it improves employee attitudes about the company because they feel the company is giving them a chance to vent — particularly when the company implements practical solutions.

Pay particular attention to first and second-year employees. You might not have started recouping your investment in them. Start now. You need their feedback.

Your veteran employees might have valuable opinions. However, they aren’t likely to be as analytical and opinionated as recently hired Millennials.

Should each person be guaranteed anonymity for their answers? Yes.

From all employees, you need to know how they feel about the level of support they receive from the company to help them perform well, and whether they feel their bosses use best practices in employee delegation.

Don’t forget the perceptions of your supervisors. For example, what they know and don’t know about minimizing employee absenteeism.

From all employees – managers and staff – learn what works and what doesn’t? Were they motivated to exceed expectations, and why or why not?

Analytics

Thanks to a great employee survey, you now possess a ton of information about your employees’ work experiences and actions.

Use your data to determine the effectiveness of the non-exempt workers as well as the supervisors.

Pay particular attention to first and second-year employees.

You also need to keep in mind that you need to analyze data by distinguishing the differences among the job classifications. That also goes for the differences between line managers and executives.

Learn the story about the interfacing between policies and employee responses.

For instance, consider employee turnover. You need to examine reasons – reasons why employees quit.

As well, learn why employees were terminated. Were the wrong persons hired? Were they on-boarded well? How were they managed?

Don’t surmise anything. Find out what’s working, not working and why.

You should also quantify the results from all your employer actions – from pay practices to training programs.

Examine your communications programs. For example, does HR distribute mundane newsletters that are ignored by employees? Or are the newsletters informative and contain the vision and values employees need to know for strong organization performance?

When HR performance disappoints you

Unfortunately, you will likely have found shortcomings at every level – from the lowest non-exempt position to management.

You might even have an unprofitable culture. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best.

That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits. (Ironically, there are easy ways to boost employee morale.)

Now that you have an accurate picture of the internal issues hurting your organization, it’s time for implementing solutions.

If you have severe problems to solve, you must implement an all-out holistic approach.

— Firstly, start thinking about solutions to the issues, and publish the overall results of your employee survey. Again, don’t divulge any individual opinions.

— Secondly, tell your employees what happens next. Create a list of solutions for HR, management and staff. Create goals, policies and procedures that will lead to efficiency, performance and job satisfaction.

— Thirdly, develop a training program for HR staff and managers. Train them in best management practices. But you must also educate them in what you’ll be training their workers.

In this way, managers will be in a better position to support the training of workers and reinforce the training modules for strong results.

— Fourthly, enhance your internal communication and implement communication training for employees.

— Fifthly, create a mechanism and educate your staff to be alert to future developments so they can adapt for your company’s long-term sustainability.

This also means all employees should be encouraged to provide solutions for growth.

Bottom-line

Employees will likely appreciate your efforts to correct problems. You will lessen absenteeism and turnover. Your HR program will be more aligned with the rest of your organization. And you’re likely to enjoy more profit.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

HR Perceptions vs. Reality – There’s a Big Gap, Study — A big schism exists between what human resources professionals think they know about their workforce and what employees actually believe, according to a study. It was conducted by the HR firm, Kenexa. Its white paper is entitled, “Employee Attitudes and Engagement.”

6 Steps to Implement a Cultural Change for Profits — If your company is lacking in teamwork, morale is poor and profits are weak, chances are you need to change your organization’s culture. Be forewarned, changing a culture is a monumental chore because it will take strategic planning and super powers of persuasion.

HR Management: 3 Values to Deliver Top Customer Service — The three values needed to achieve top customer service are easy-to-understand but arduous to achieve. But if your human resources program adopts and implements these values, you’ll achieve enviable organizational effectiveness – a high performance culture – for strong revenue.

5 Critical Fundamentals to Build the Best Sales Staff — Some companies are achieving stellar sales results in complex global situations by adopting best practices. They employ strategies that separate them from the average-performing sales organizations.

Increase Your Business Value with 5 Basic BPO Strategies — For your company to achieve higher performance, you often need to enhance your business processes. In essence, this means turning your attention to business process optimization (BPO), which is a holistic approach. The benefits: With BPO, you’ll be able to evaluate and authenticate your existing practices and create new processes via imagined situations.

“There are incalculable resources in the human spirit, once it has been set free.”

-Hubert H. Humphrey


 __________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 





Next Page »

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.