Monthly Archives: May, 2009

Setting performance standards


In previous columns, I have discussed actions a manager should take when an employee does something wrong. But how do you ensure employees do something right? Writing and communicating effective performance standards and plans for employees can go a long way in developing a stellar workforce. A well-structured performance plan outlines the expectations you have of a position. If an employee turns out to be a poor performer, his or her inability to live up to these standards protects your legal liability when adverse personnel action must be taken. There are basic legal guidelines to follow in developing performance standards and plans. The…

The pitfalls of gender stereotyping


Federal employees filed 6,001 complaints of sex discrimination in 2007 under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. More than a third of the complaints, 2,224, came from men. Many people tend to be of the mind-set that sexual harassment is the only form of sex discrimination. Sexual harassment is only one form of sex discrimination. I prefer to use the terminology “gender discrimination” to refer to discrimination based on an employee’s status as a male or female. Gender discrimination does not have to involve sexual behavior. Any personnel decisions —…