With Valentine’s Day coming on Saturday, now is a great time to share an interesting article I recently came across entitled “10 Ways to Show Your Employees You Love Them”, written by Suzanne Lucas, the “Evil HR Lady”.  The 10 items she lists are:

  1. Make work interesting and challenging.
  2. Get rid of the bullies.
  3. Don’t just follow the law.
  4. Bring in some food.
  5. Send the sickies home.
  6. Give great references for your former employees.
  7. Stay off their social media accounts.
  8. Solve problems directly, not through policy.
  9. Adopt a culture of openness.
  10. Think flexibility.

All 10 of her suggestions are worth thinking about, although I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, such as 3, 6 and 8.  If Employers “don’t just follow the law”, they may treat similarly situated employees differently, creating potential claims for discrimination.  Employers who “give great references for your former employees” also need to be truthful and give not so great references for not so great former employees.  Being inconsistent with references can again lead to claims for discrimination and other illegal conduct.  Although I agree with the explanation to her statement that Employers should “solve problems directly, not through policy”, policies and procedures that are in place must be followed.  If an employee regularly comes in late, they need to be disciplined pursuant to whatever the policy is.

Practice Pointer. When dealing with employees, it is important to comply with the law, be consistent, use common sense and treat all employees with respect.  Each employer is different, and needs to evaluate their particular workplace when evaluating policies and procedures. One size does not fit all.  As I just told a client last week, it is important, on a regular basis, to treat the workplace like a railroad crossing:  “Stop.  Look.  Listen.”  This will allow you to get a good grip on what is happening in YOUR workplace.