Category Archives: Employee Relations

NEW How To Make Managing Easy Webinar Series

This program has been postponed

Answers to

Complex Workplace Issues Managers Struggle With new 2

 Five, 60-Minute Webinars

Begins Wednesday, April 20 @ 2PM ET

Ask any manager what’s the hardest part of their job and you’ll hear the same thing: “Managing People!”

Not the technical aspects of their job, not the budgeting, or even the dealing with customers. It’s the people aspect of it. Managing people is just plain hard.

And it is. You can read a lot of articles and books discussing the theory of management, but when you’re face to face with an employee, theory, fads and the latest gimmicks go flying out the window, so you better really know what to do.

For over 25 years I’ve advised managers and supervisors on what to do and say when faced with an employee. I’ve always provided practical, understandable and uncomplicated techniques designed to deal with the situation, making the job as a manager easier and ultimately making managers better at their jobs. And it works. I know because managers repeatedly tell me I’ve helped. And I even wrote a book about it, which you can get.

I know that when you understand what you have to do, how to do it and what to say (and not say) to your employees, you can ultimately improve overall performance, solve problems, and make your job as a manager easier. And that’s what this webinar series is all about.

  • Manage your people well, and they become happier and more productive.
  • Manage your people poorly, and performance tanks and your life is miserable.

In these 5, information packed webinars, I’ll show you how making a few essential changes and improvements to how you manage will vastly increase your effectiveness as a manager.

The 5 webinars in the “How To Make Managing Easy” series include:

  1. How to Quickly Cut Your Workers’ Compensation Costs April 20 @ 2PM

Includes role of supervisor in controlling cost; 7 steps to reduce W/C costs; spotting & preventing fraud; creating a post-injury response program; managing claims; benefits of light duty; developing a relationship with a medical provider and insurer; getting employees to return to work; and more

 

2.How to Deal with Substance Abuse & Use May 4 @ 2PM

Includes awareness of issue; performance versus diagnosis; medical marijuana; drug testing; reasonable suspicion rules; DOT requirements; drug free policies; role of supervisor; and more

 

3. How to Control Ten Difficult Conversations May 18 @ 2PM

Includes scripts/talking points; 11 steps to stress free conversations; handling emotional employees; topics: absenteeism/tardiness; poor performance; inappropriate dress; insubordination; raise in pay denial; and more

 

4. How to Discipline, Terminate & Win at Unemployment June 2 @2PM

Includes scripts/talking points; differences between discipline, counseling, coaching; lay off vs. firing vs. quitting; airtight documentation; what disqualifies an employee from collecting; how to lose an unemployment claim; what happens at a hearing; and more

5. How To Create a Respectful Work Culture June 15 @ 2PM

Includes the warning signs for discrimination, harassment & bullying; what managers & supervisors must do to foster a respectful culture; how to model respectful behaviors;  scripts/talking points when talking to an alleged victim; requirements under the law; investigating a claim; addressing “he said/she said;” and more

 Here’s what you’ll learn from these 5 webinars:

  • How to quickly spot, understand and manage employee issues
  • How to confront problem employees & resolve tough issues, including attitude, performance and behavior
  • How to provide honest feedback
  • What the words you should use (“the script”) when talking to an employee
  • How to avoid stepping on a legal landmine
  • What systems and polices must you have in place & what should they include
  • What can you expect at an unemployment hearing & how you should respond
  • How to spot and address workers’ compensation fraud
  • How to handle an employee who threatens to sue
  • What to do if you suspect an employee has been drinking
  • And much, much more

Each 60-minute webinar is filled with real life examples and scripts to follow. Prior to each session and right after, you will be able to call or email me with your specific questions and feedback.

Total Cost? $125 for each individual webinar or $500 for all five, a $125 savings (20% off).

Clients of Dacri & Associates enjoy an additional 10% off. Not a bad investment for something that will dramatically make a difference in how you manage.

And yes, you can sign up for 1 or 2 or all 5 webinars if you want.

I hope you’ll join us.

Each webinar will be limited to the first 25 who sign up. They will be approximately 60 minutes in length.

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To register, call me at 207-229-5954 or email me at rick@dacri.com.

Rick Dacri Photo

Rick Dacri

 Rick

President

Dacri & Associates, LLC

207-229-5954 (Cell)

rick@dacri.com

www.dacri.com

 

P.S. Can’t make it to the live sessions? No problem, go ahead and sign up anyway. I will be recording (audio and visual) each session and each registrant will receive a link to the recording within 24 hours after the session is over.

P.P.S. Be one of the first three to sign up and I’ll send you a copy of my book Uncomplicating Management.How To Make Managing Easy

Uncomplicating Management

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Filed under communications, Compliance, Employee Relations, Management, Uncategorized

How To Handle Employee’s Fighting & Arguing

images(Post by Rick Dacri, March 1, 2016)

Last week, the CEO of a small manufacturing firm called me. He had just broken up a fist fight between two workers.

After he and his supervisor broke up the brawl, he sent them both home and called me. He was pretty shook up. He felt he knew what to do but wanted to be sure and frankly, I think he just needed to talk to someone who could be objective and unemotional. Turns out the guy who threw the first punch were a good employee; the other wasn’t. Both ended up losing their jobs.

Fighting in the workplace can never be tolerated and if it should ever occur, management must take action FAST. Whether it’s a verbal altercation or if fists are flying, either are forms of workplace violence.

Mangers and supervisors should immediately do the following six things: Continue reading

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Filed under crisis management, Employee Relations, Uncategorized

Don’t Let Poor Performer Collect


images(This post by Rick Dacri, February 3, 2016)

What would you do if a marginally performing employee came to you asking you to be laid off so he could collect unemployment? 

On the one hand, the thought of ridding yourself of an underperforming employee who did not want to work for you any more sounded appealing. On the other hand you hated the prospect of letting him collect.

This was the issue facing one of my HR HelpLine clients who called me asking if there were any risks in laying him off. Business was good at the company, so he would have to be replaced, but “anyone” seemed better than this guy.

While it was tempting to dump this individual, my advice was that it was not without risk. Here are the risks:

1) You are committing fraud. In general, in order for an employee to qualify for unemployment compensation benefits the employee must be separated from employment involuntarily and without having committed misconduct. When an employee files a claim for unemployment compensation benefits, the employer is routinely solicited by the state unemployment compensation agency to provide separation information. In general, an employee who asks to be laid off would be considered to have voluntarily separated from employment and the claim for unemployment compensation benefits would be disqualified. If an employer would willfully state that an employee, who requested to be laid off, was involuntarily separated from employment, the employee’s unemployment compensation claim would probably be paid. The employer may be liable for intentionally providing false information to a state agency and for aiding another in the commission of a fraudulent act.

2. It will cost you. Unemployment compensation benefits are paid from an employer’s unemployment insurance account with the state. The employer’s account is funded by a payroll tax charged to the employer. The employer’s contribution tax rate is determined, in part, based on the employer’s experience rating. Experience is based on the dollar amount of unemployment compensation benefits paid out of an individual employer’s account on an annual basis. The more claims that are paid to former employees of a given employer, the higher the employer’s experience rating would be and the higher the payroll tax rate would be likely be. Providing false information about an employee’s termination to facilitate the employee’s ability to collect unemployment compensation benefits would tend to increase the employer’s unemployment compensation payroll tax cost unnecessarily.

3. You just opened Pandora’s box. Using unemployment as a tool to address performance problems is a poor management practice and it also send a bad message to the rest of your workforce. If employees underperform, address them. If they prefer to work elsewhere, tell them to quit. Finally, the last thing you can afford is a reputation for letting people quit and then getting a free pass to draw against your unemployment account.

The easy, short-term solution was to let him collect; the better, long-term resolution is to tackle the problem employee head-on.

If you would like to read more about the Dacri HR HelpLine, click HR HelpLine or if you’d prefer to watch a 5-minute YouTube, click HelpLine Youtube.

Other Posts You May Like:

  1. Firing Someone: Only 3 Legitimate Reasons
  2. Supervisor’s Mistake Opens Company to Lawsuit
  3. Five 2016 Workforce Challenges Screaming Down the Tracks

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A Manager’s Performance Appraisal: Prepare With Confidence

Feat1_Image(This article was written by Rick Dacri and published in the October issue of Public Management Journal)

Imagine you’re responsible for organizing the family vacation. It’s all planned, and everyone piles into the car ready to go. From the back seat, you hear: “I want to go to Disney.” “No, I want to go to the beach.” “No, we always do what you want, let’s go camping.”

Your partner gently leans over and says: “I want to go for a romantic vacation, without the kids, and by the way, we should fly, not drive.” And now, if things couldn’t be worse, you know they will all judge you, and the quality of their vacation will be based on your decision.

Crazy? Is this scenario all that unrealistic? In fact, for many, this resembles the life of a local government manager. As one city administrator defined it, “multiple conflicting priorities,” topped off with a performance appraisal.

POWERFUL TOOL WITH BENEFITS

As a manager, your job is to carry out the wishes of the governing board. But if you cannot find agreement on where you are going, who is driving, and who is in charge, you are on the road to dysfunctional government and a strained relationship with elected officials.

An evaluation of the manager—a process hated by most and ignored by others—should be an opportunity to both develop a manager’s knowledge and move a community forward.

If we are able to step back from the report-card aspect of most appraisal processes and realize that a performance appraisal is simply a tool used by elected officials to ensure that community goals are being met, then one can appreciate the power of this tool.

So why doesn’t that happen? Continue reading

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Filed under city manager, coaching, Employee Relations, government, human resources, ICMA, municipality, performance, performance appraisal, performance management, town manager

New Maine Law Restricts Social Media Access

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(Post by Rick Dacri, September 3, 2015)

Beginning October 14, 2015, new legislation in Maine will restricts an employer’s ability to demand information regarding their employee’s or a job applicant’s social media account. The Act applies to both public and private employers, including the state, county and municipalities.

The Act prohibits employers from requiring, coercing or requesting an employee or job applicant to provide their employer with the password or other means of accessing his/her social media accounts.  This applies to any online account or service through which users share, view or create user-generated blogs, videos, instant and text messages, e-mails, and photographs.  The law also prohibits employers from requiring, coercing or requesting an employee or job applicant access to a personal social media account in the presence of the employer. Under the Act, employers are prohibited from discharging, disciplining or otherwise penalizing or threatening to discharge, discipline or otherwise penalize an employee for refusing the employer’s request made in violation of these restrictions.

Dacri Recommendation: 1)Train all your managers, supervisors and recruiters on the new
law. 2)Policies and procedures should be updated.

This update is merely a summary of the key points of the Act. Call me for a more detailed review.

This topic will also be covered in Dacri’s upcoming webinar series, Accelerated Supervisory Development Program for Municipal Managers.

Other Posts you may like:

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Massachusetts: New Paid Sick Leave Law

(Post written by attorneys Amanda Marie Baer and Bob Kilroy of Mirick O’Connell)

On November 4, 2014, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question enacting M.G.L. c. 149, § 148C, which entitles Massachusetts employees to earn and use sick time.  Massachusetts is now the third state in the nation to guarantee paid sick days for certain workers.Unknown

The law provides that employees who work for public or private employers having eleven or more employees can earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year.  The sick time must be compensated at the same hourly rate paid to the employee when the sick time is used.  Employees who work for employers with less than eleven employees can earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year.

Under the law, employees earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.  Employees begin accruing sick hours on either (a) the date of hire; or (b) July 1, 2015, whichever is later.

Employees may begin to use earned sick time on the 90th day after hire.  After the 90 day period, employees may use earned sick time as it accrues.  Employees can only use earned sick time and miss work in order to: 

  1. Care for a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition affecting the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse;
  2. Attend routine medical appointments of the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse; or
  3. Address the effects of domestic violence on the employee or the employee’s dependent child.

In certain circumstances, employers may require employees to provide certification of the need for sick time.

If an employee does not use all of their sick time in a calendar year, the employee may carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the next calendar year.  Employees who carry over earned sick time, however, may only use up to 40 hours of sick time in a calendar year.  Employers are not required to pay an employee for unused sick time at the end of the employee’s employment.

It is unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right provided under the new law.  For example, employers may not use the taking of earned sick time as a negative factor in any employment action such as an evaluation, promotion, disciplinary action or termination, or otherwise subject an employee to discipline for use of earned sick time under the law.

In light of this change in the law, employers are advised to review and update, as necessary, their sick time, vacation and/or paid time off policies.

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Filed under Compliance, Employee Relations, Insurance

Cultural Issues Makes Employee Uncomfortable

imagesThis question came in from one of Dacri’s HR HelpLine clients.

Question: I have a male international worker who has made one of my female non-international worker uncomfortable with some of the comments he has made to her. I am going to address this with him, but I want to make sure I handle this correctly. Some of the comments were how she needs to learn to cook for her husband and the like. She said he also has an attitude that she can’t handle some of the tasks because she is female. I know the Jamaican culture is quite different from here, so I want to let him know that he is making her uncomfortable without discounting what he believes to be true…Any insight you can provide, will be most helpful.

Expert Advice: While it is important to be sensitive to different cultures and an individuals personal beliefs, that does not give anyone license to espouse their beliefs to all. I would pull him aside, let him know that you have something to discuss with him that may make him uncomfortable, but his comments (walk him through them) are making some people uncomfortable. Let him know that this kind of language is unacceptable in the workplace and you expect it to stop immediately. At this point, stop talking and wait for his response. Assuming it goes well (it should), tell him you hope this is the end of it. Then, document your discussion. Let the female employee know you’ve talked to him and let her know if it happens again to let you know immediately. If it does happen again, I recommend a formal written warning, but let’s further discuss at that point.

It is important to be sensitive to cultural issues, but in this case, his comments are making your other employee very uncomfortable. After you address this, follow-up with the female employee in a few days to be sure everything is OK.

If you would like to learn more about Dacri’s HR HelpLine service, where you can get all your workforce questions answered, click HR HelpLine.

Other posts you may want to read:

  1. HR HelpLine: When You Need Expert Advice
  2. Body Odor: It’s a Problem Supervisors Must address
  3. Medical Marijuana: Hospitality Issues

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Filed under Employee Relations, How to, Management