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Part of your role as boss includes conducting periodic performance
We hope you won’t approach this necessary management task with all
the dread of a teacher giving a bad report card. Instead, if you approach evaluation
with the right spirit, it serves as a useful tool for both you and your
employee. It’s an opportunity for you to point out strengths as well as areas
needing improvement, so that your employee is clear on how to reach higher
levels of
Businesses differ in the timing for evaluation. Some choose thirty days,
others pick ninety days, or every six months. With a new hire, opt for a shorter
period, just to make sure problems are addressed early on and not left to fester.
Afterwards, every six to twelve months should
A sample evaluation developed by Cameron Foote as well as numerous
other handy forms are available as free downloads
Especially in the first few months of employment, supervise your new employee
closely to make sure the person is adjusting to the new position and performing
work in a manner that meets your standards. Check in with your employee at
least weekly, if not daily, to see if there are any questions or points needing clarification.
From time to time, throw out an open-ended question, such as, “So
how’s it going?” or “Are you settling in okay?”design
While your employee faces a steep learning curve in adapting to a new environment,
so do you, particularly when it comes to shouldering your new supervisory
responsibilities. However well-intentioned you may be, chances are you’ll
make some mistakes along the way. Here’s where having a mentor or a network
of support outside the agency can come in handy. Not only can you let off steam,
but also you can tap into somebody else’s expertise. So do seek out help when
you’re feeling in over your head or don’t know how to finesse a tricky situation
involving your new
Swamped by the day-to-day pressures of running a design firm, meeting payroll,
and trying to grow your business, you may overlook early-warning signals that
indicate problems are brewing. However, if any of the following situations
occur, deal with it right away. Causes for you to take disciplinary action include
the following:design
• Shoddy design work • Repeatedly missing deadlines • Poor attitude or negative interactions with clients • Sharing confidential client or company information outside the organization • Coming in obviously impaired from drugs/alcohol use • Disappearing without notice or reason • Unexplained absences or frequent tardiness • Repeated deceit • Theft • Insubordination When it comes to addressing such situations, you have five choices: • Oral warning • A written warning • Probation (shape up in X amount of time or else) • Suspension (time off without pay) • Termination Whatever option you choose, it is of paramount importance to document such action in the employee’s personnel file (which you’ve been keeping all along, right?). Otherwise, you could wind up with no proof in the event your employee ever does file a lawsuit against you. We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Paperwork is your best defense in avoiding legal