How to Treat Employees? :
Employees should be treated like a protected group. Most courts lean towards siding with employees in disputes. Some of this relates to political persuasions but it is primarily because employers have more power than the employee and employeesgenerally have fewer options about work than employers about filling it.
Therefore, when dealing with employees exercise the six rules listed in our Protected Group section.
The two most important letters relating to employees are the offer of work and termination. They are integrally related.
When starting my first company, I did not realize that every new hire would ultimately be a termination, a resignation, or a retirement. In other words, each new person will leaveeventually. The smart employer prepares for this in advance.
When hiring people, I have learned, though many do not agree with me on this point, that people either do well in their job or don't. Very few fall in the middle.
As Robert Half, the founder of the famous recruiting firm with his name, said so eloquently, There are three aspects of hiring people: technical skills, can do skills and will do skills. The first two are straightforward but most employers spend far too much time on them; the will do is always something of a mystery bet, even to the job candidates themselves.
What does this mean? It means that up front you can gauge pretty well whether the person has the technical and can do skills to do the job. The challenge is will they do what they have agreed to do? In my experience, this is hard to predict.
Most employers compromise on this point. The won't do it employee is usually skillful at this art. They want to get the job but not do the prescribed work. They hope they can slip into another slot. Many employers permit this. If you don't, then you need to clarify your policy up front in order to terminate the wont dos without repercussions upon your firm.
A marvelous approach is to start prospective employees out in training camp by making them contractors at first. Only after a transition period should your company permit them to become employees with all the benefits accruing to that position as well as the attendant risks to your firm. I did this when hiring factory workers. On their first day I told them they were on contract and would be paid an hourly amount.
I had my foremen and women give me a quick one hour report on the new hires. Rarely did it take more than this to determine whether they had the necessary will do skills. I met tremendous resistance from the first line supervisors at first because they thought this was too short a time to make a sound evaluation of the prospective new hire.
After the policy was implemented, we all found it worked marvelously well for unskilled people. The first line supervisors were delighted because they were allowed to bring in more people to try out, let them be less tough on prescreening and got better people as a result.
This also tended to be fairer to protected groups such as the old, the overweight, the poor speakers of English, or the not as attractive. In fact, nothing broke down everyone's prejudices like this. Our best and most nimble riveter/assembler was ahandicapped man. The second best was a 300 lb woman.
We were darn lucky to get them and they stayed until the company was sold to Rubbermaid. They both assumed key leadership roles on the factory floor and reduced the need for others to supervise their areas.
This story shows how important it is to have the end in mind. You work to get the best possible employees and terminate those who won't do the job.
We took this to the next level with executive level employees and found out it worked just as well.
Rather than new managers out in a training mode, I had them start to do work in the first 30 minutes. For sales people, we had them making calls to customers, for process people, doing things or organizing them, and for creators or developers, doing theactual work in a small way.
Within one hour we could tell whether we had a laggard, a star, or an also ran.
You have agreed to a trial period of up to one day on the job before being offered a full time position. You understand that it is entirely up to your supervisor and the Company whether you will be accepted or not. You will be a contractor for this day and paid $15 dollar per hour.
You agree to make no claim for employee status at a later date. If you find this unacceptable, do not accept our contractor offer. If you do claim employee status at a later date for this one day trial, you agree to pay the company $1000 in liquidateddamages.
Yours very truly,
This is a tough beginning. What I have found interesting is the letter scared off the won't do's, while the will do's wondered what fuss was all about. In other words, this became one of our best tests. Learn from us. If the job candidate is worried about the penalty, then you have trouble on your hands and just say no.
We hereby offer you up to a 30 day trial period as an employee. If you live up to your promises about what you will do on the job, then most people are hired on a permanent basis at the end of the trial period. In most instances, the trial period does not extend beyond a few days as you work at the job successfully or find you do not like the work you have agreed to perform. Very rarely does anyone not succeed because of technical or can do skills.
You have agreed to work in the Sales Department. You have agreed to make 20 to 40 calls per day on prospective customers and current customers of the Company. You have agreed to provide written reports, sell at least one order per day though hopefullymore, and work independently without much supervision, if any at all.
You agree to be present and on time on each day for the trial period. If you are absent from any day, you will be automatically terminated. If you are late on any day during the first week, you will be automatically terminated. If you cannot meet these attendance requirements, do not accept our offer.
Your pay will be $15 per hour. You will not be eligible for other benefits the company offers until you are offered permanent employment. This agreement will cease in 30 days or less at the option of the company. It is not renewable.
Yours very truly,
We have been very pleased with your work for the company in your trial contract and trial employment period. We offer you work under the following terms.
These are tough letters. In some instances, with particularly desirable potential job candidates you will be tempted not to present these documents. Think twice before not doing so. The particularly desirable are often the most troublesome for a company.
Other Communications :
Most other communications are notices to employees and requests for various things to be done.
Tip : Develop a good punch list request list and use it broadly. See our Request section. As far as notices are concerned, short factual ones are best regarding holidays, closings, and other such things. As a rule, the fewer the better.
Be brief. Post simple straightforward notices where required.
How to Treat Employees?
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