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Positive Staff Appraisals are a Good Motivator

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It is natural for high-performing employees to expect good appraisals. While monetary compensation is a good thing, a word of appreciation at a positive staff appraisal goes a long way.

Recognition and admiration are very, very basic human needs. They are as elementary as food and water. When an employee earns recognition and good name in the organization she works for; there is a deep sense of pride and gratitude. One of the best-suited occasions to show an employee how much the organization values her work is appraisals.

Letting the Employee Know What the Management Thinks of Her Work is at the Core of Positive Staff Appraisals

Appraisals, whenever they are done, guarantee an increase in pay or other benefits to the deserving employees. In addition to it, the management should use this as an occasion to voice their impression of why they felt this benefit was justified. That is why positive staff appraisals are a great tool for letting the employee know how much the organization values the good work she put in.

So, how should positive staff appraisals be worded? There is no single formula or template for doing this and depends entirely on how the manager wants to rate the employee who is being appraised. Yet, a few words such as these can serve as a good basis to frame positive staff appraisals:

Positive staff appraisals may generally relate to, but are not restricted to the following qualities:

  • Performance
  • Integrity
  • Reliability
  • Adaptability
  • Problem solving
  • Willingness to take up responsibility and ownership, among many other such qualities. 


    In relation to each of these individual parameters, positive staff appraisals may be generally worded in the following ways:



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Putting a Performance Appraisal Toolbox in Place Helps


A performance appraisal toolbox is an objective checklist of the ingredients that go into an appraisal. Managers have to learn what to put into this toolbox.

An appraisal is a headache for any manager. Yet, despite its being a delicate task; no manager can escape from it. Appraisals could make or mar employees’ careers. From an employee’s perspective, getting a raise that is not proportionate to her work done during the year is a bad appraisal. From the organization’s standpoint, a bad appraisal is one that rewards employees that the management thinks are poor performers. So, how does the manager draw the line? The solution is the performance appraisal toolbox.

What is a Performance Appraisal Toolbox?

In simple terms, a performance appraisal toolbox is a set of parameters that managers use to measure performance from their subordinates. They use these parameters to continually assess employees from time to time and compile to arrive at one final figure at the time of the employee’s appraisal.

A performance appraisal toolbox is a good way to arrive at a fair evaluation after measuring traits like attitude, behavior and effort for accomplishing tasks. It eliminates the aspect of impetuosity in decision-making, since it is carried out over a period of time.

Components of a Performance Appraisal Toolbox

  • Managers need to be equipped with the skills to plan, write, and execute a performance appraisal document
  • Managers have to set realistic goals for their employees and measure performance in relation to these
  • In evaluating, managers have to ensure legal compliance and help employees set performance goals
  • Appraisals have to be give-and-take discussions rather than being one-sided
  • A performance appraisal toolbox should help deal with negative behavior from the employee
  • The toolbox should enable employees to assess their own performance, set goals, and develop new skills, knowledge and competencies

Ways to Prepare a Performance Appraisal Toolbox

Ideally, a performance appraisal toolbox should be prepared by the manager keeping these items in mind:


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Retaining Key Employees is Very Critical for Organizations

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The driving force of all organizations is talent. The employee with talent is the organization’s key resource. This being the case, it is incumbent on the organization to do its best to retain such a resource. Retaining key employees is critical for organizations because the loss of good employees hurts it in many ways.

  • It deprives the organization of the vital contributions from a talented employee;
  • This reflects poorly on the management’s image with clients it does business with;
  • It gives the competition that hires such an employee the edge.

    Ways by which Employers can Retain Key Employees


hr best practices, hr policies, hr training, Human Resources Training

Performance Management is Vital to Getting the Best out of Employees


Hand writing Performance Management, business concept

Performance management is a well-thought out, comprehensive program that assesses employee performance in relation to the organization’s business goals and objectives. Also included in it is the aspect of the cultural fit.

When does performance management begin and end?

HR should start the process of performance management from the time the employee is onboarded. This being the case, it logically follows that it goes on till the time the employee leaves the organization. Being a holistic program, it has both strategic and tactical value to the organization, because it helps management to get a good idea of how employees are performing from time to time and how this performance is impacting the organization.

Performance management should thus be:

  • Inclusive of employee induction, training and growth
  • Well-written to do justice to describe employee achievements in relation to the job requirement
  • Effectively supervised;
  • Able to foster a congenial work atmosphere that employees like

Objectives of a good Performance Management System


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Effective Hiring and Interviewing Lies at the Core of an Organization’s Strength


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Hiring and interviewing are the most important techniques for building an organization’s critical mass. HR has to work diligently on these aspects

Ask any HR professional what she would rate as the organization’s most important asset, and the answer is not likely to be anything other than “people”.

Indeed, people are an organization’s greatest strength, and how does an organization find and cultivate this asset? Through effective hiring and interviewing, of course. Interviewing skills make or mar a great hire. Only organizations that adapt effective hiring and interviewing get the best people, and unfortunately, the opposite is equally true: poor skills result in inappropriate candidate selection, leading to potential loss of millions of dollars.

What should Effective Hiring and Interviewing Skills be like?


Ask the questions that help the organization thoroughly assess the candidate’s suitability, strengths and weaknesses

  • Identify subtle and invisible dark spots in the hire’s skills or character;
  • Knowing the art of interpreting evasive responses from candidates;
  • Demonstrate thorough knowledge of the legal aspects of hiring.


For hiring and interviewing to be effective, the following aspects, among others, of a candidate’s characteristics need to be assessed:


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Not Calculating Overtime Correctly Can Prove Fatal

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Failure to correct common areas of errors in calculating overtime pay correctly, such as misclassifying non-exempt employees as exempt, not tracking time properly, not paying overtime as required, not paying for break time, travel time, and improperly classifying employees as independent contractors will lead to loss of millions of dollars.

An area in which there is considerable disagreement between employees and employers is on the topic of calculating overtime pay. The reason for this is that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is the guiding document on this topic, is nebulous.

Features of overtime pay disagreements

  • Pay is calculated on an hourly basis
  • There is no agreement on what constitutes hourly pay.
  • Dispute centers around which of the employees’ working hours need to be compensated.
  • Problem arises when an employee legally challenges an organization over lower-than-agreed pay.
  • The Department of Labor added 200 more auditors to handle the increased volume in their investigations
  • Of late, escalated audits have resulted in millions of dollars in back wage payments as well as penalties, fines and interest.
  • This constitutes a clear threat to businesses

Possible Solutions: Overtime Pay Disagreements


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Interviewing has to be Legal and Effective


Legal and effective interviewing is an important first step to ensure that organizations both select the right resources and avoid falling into the legal trap.

On paper, hiring and firing are an organization’s prerogative. But in reality, owing to the myriad changes brought about into the concept of employment at will; organizations that are ham-handed or arbitrary in their hiring and firing are at risk of inviting lawsuits. Legal and effective hiring is a useful first step if organizations have to avoid falling into this quagmire.

Legislations That Vindicate Legal and Effective Hiring


The concept of employment at will has been necessitated owing to a series of legislations that have aimed to curb the tendency of employers to be willful and capricious in their hiring and firing policies. A few of these include:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Not documenting vital communication can lead to lawsuits
  • Lack of proper and sufficient HR documentation can land organizations and HR professionals in big trouble

Among the first prerequisites for organizations is to make sure that it has followed all the proper steps to conducting an interview with a candidate it seeks to hire.

Do’s for Ensuring Legal and Effective Interviewing