Why Have An Employee Handbook? Part II

I’ve written before about the need for a business of any size to have legally reviewed, written policies in force.

My favorite example is when an employee chronically comes to work late. If you try to discipline that employee, he or she can simply say, ‘no one told me that’. And they could continue to get away with it.

Some employers fear that written policies bind them too much, but a well-written handbook avoids those pitfalls.

Do not use the internet or buy a software program – it takes more time than you think; you don’t know how recent those policies were legally reviewed; you won’t know if your company needs to have certain policies; and you don’t know if those policies are specific to your state.

Get a professional – collaborate – and get the policies legally reviewed to ensure you can consistently – and properly – manage your employees.

Courtesy Kyle R. Still, Ward and Smith, P.A.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Job References

A highly valued, long-time employee of yours decides to move out of state and asks you to write a reference letter. A no-brainer, right?

Then another employee, whom you’ve been trying to fire for the past few months, also asks you for a reference letter. Now what do you do?

Yes, you can be held liable for references – and whether you provide them or not. It’s possible you could open yourself up for discrimination or defamation charges if you write a letter for one employee but not another.

Often in seminars, I advise clients not to provide references at all. You’re under no obligation to do so, and the negative clearly outweighs the positive.

But a written policy must be established, and you must be consistent in following that policy. Many businesses simply provide dates of employment, which is a good practice.

Some employment attorneys recommend a signed waiver, where you only provide information under certain circumstances.

Consistency and communication are the key. Establish that policy, make sure all your employees understand it – and make sure you consistency follow that policy.

From Elarbee Thompson.

When Its Time To Leave Your Job

I’m often asked by unhappy managers if they should leave their job. It’s a somewhat complicated question which boils down to a simple question: “Are you happy?”

Happiness in a job is critical – more critical than the money you earn or the uncertainty of trying to find a new job. We spend at least a third of our lives working; why would you want to spend all that time being unhappy?

Unhappy employees are far less productive and – whether you realize it or not – your unhappiness manifests itself on other employees, even if you don’t say anything. People know.

Is the grass greener on ‘the other side’? You’ll never know until you find out.

People hate losses, say Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, authors of “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness,” And “losing something makes you twice as miserable (than) gaining the same thing makes you happy.” They call this being “loss averse.”

We often are so focused on holding on to something we forget there are better things out there. The old saw, “the best time to look for a job is when you have a job,” maybe true; but it’s also a device for procrastination.

Don’t spend your life ‘stuck’ in a job. Ask yourself every morning if your truly excited about going to work. If the answer is no, you have your answer.

Life is too short.

From Andrea Kay via Courier Post Online.