As a business owner or executive, you need to establish what’s expected overall in the form of a policy manual. Once employees are given the ‘rules of the road’ for their specific job titles, performance must be measured throughout the duration of the employee’s career.

Employee performance reviews not only iron out the kinks in the workplace, but also help employees improve for the future. Reviewing the positives is important as well as reviewing the negatives surrounding an employee’s performance, but you must do so in a manner that is not a personal attack upon the employee. And most importantly, you must not deliver the review in such a manner that the truth is vague or unclear. If an employee is performing poorly,   they need to know, and it needs to be documented in the event that the end result is termination.

Here are 5 tips for management when conducting employee performance reviews:

  1. Schedule Reviews Often: Once a year employee performance reviews do not allow employees to stay on track. Quarterly reviews are much more effective when it comes to measuring an employee’s performance, success, and room for improvement. Also, as working environments change, so may an employee’s job responsibilities. What’s relevant to a good employee performance review today may not be relevant in a few months.
  2. Be Honest: We know it’s hard to deliver negative news, but the truth is much better than leading an employee to believe they are doing everything right. An honest assessment will uncover job performance areas an employee may not know they are performing poorly in. It will also give employees a benchmark, and room for improvement.
  3. Prepare: Give some thought to how you are going to deliver the employee performance review. Will you start with positives, or negatives? And have you given any thought to how much they have or have not improved since the last review? Create an outline for your review so that strengths and areas in need of improvement can be addressed independently.
  4. Be Specific: Nothing is worse than a vague, 5-10 minute review that seems more like homework than a genuine attempt at improving performance. Most employees work very hard for their employers, and a concise, respectful and honest review should be conducted.
  5. Ask About the Future: Where does your employee want to be next year? What about 5 years down the line? This is an important question to ask during an employee performance review because it’s very relevant. How is he or she performing today, and what is it going to take to reach their career goals? Let them know, so that they can work on it, and you can support them. 

Employee reviews can be difficult to deliver. To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of HR related tasks, many companies rely on HR shield. We deliver an employee performance management system that really works, including employee handbook templates, employee reviews and all the HR advice you need.

Call today to learn more about HR Shield’s employee performance reviews at (877) 636-9525 or contact us online.

As if employee (existing employee) management isn’t a full time job in itself, try managing the fake ones! Every day as HR Managers or Business Owners we dedicate time, money and effort towards managing “everything HR” for our employees – payroll, sick days, vacation time, benefits, hiring, firing, compliance, workplace safety, training… the list goes on!   

We do everything in our power to keep our workplace in compliance, so who would have thought a claim could be filed by a fake employee- someone you’ve never even met. The larger companies are, the more HR-related tasks there are. Even with an HR Manager on staff, errors in human resources administration can be quite costly.

Just a few weeks ago in the Tampa Bay Times, we read about Industrial Engineering and Development, an employer in the Tampa Bay area who received a lawsuit claiming they owed unpaid overtime to an employee- an employee the company did not know!

Industrial Engineering and Development checked their records and found that the complainant had been on their payroll for $8 per hour for several months in 2007 and 2009, and was paid a total of $21,218.

While the complainant did not get away with this lawsuit in this particular situation, and may even face criminal charges for faking their employment, this is a perfect example of how certain aspects of HR can be overlooked when you are focusing on the more revenue-generating activities of the company. According to labor lawyers, unpaid overtime is a widespread common abuse, and can sometimes be more expensive to fight than to simply pay off – some companies feel pressured to settle even when they know the employee is in the wrong.

The expert team at HR Shield provides the perfect alternative to outsourced HR services and can contribute to keeping your HR administration organized. HR Shield clients streamline human resources administration with HR management best practices from our team and with a little bit of support, you can focus more strongly on certain aspects of HR.  In the event of a claim, HR Shield member reap the benefits of discounted labor attorney servicestoo.

Call and meet your HR Advisor today (877) 636-9525, or contact us for more information.

If your employees don’t wear uniforms, and there is no official dress code in place, determining what  is appropriate apparel for the workplace can be difficult. And, confronting an employee about their apparel can be… awkward, to say the least!

Here are some helpful pointers to share with employees, to help ensure your working environment remains professional, while still giving individuals the right to express themselves through personal fashion. What is considered appropriate varies by workplace or industry, and in many cases all 5 tips may not apply.  As the HR Manager in charge of your company’s dress code, feel free to improvise these tips and share!

  1. Modesty Gains Points: You want to be noticed for the great work you do, not the distracting clothes that you wear. Avoid tight clothing, short skirts or dresses, and low-cut blouses. If you question an outfit’s appropriateness, put it back in the closet. Dressing professionally will reflect positively upon your professional work, and your company.
  2. Make Up:  There is often a difference between daytime and nighttime make-up. Office makeup should be subtle and less distracting than what you would wear out for an evening or night out on the town. Again, you want to be noticed for the great work you do, not any distracting elements.
  3. Shoes: Be comfortable, but remain professional. Many believe that flip flops are the most comfortable shoes of all, but they aren’t often safe or appropriate for the workplace. While heels may be more stylish, you don’t want to be uncomfortable – so pick what is right for you but still a professional shoe!
  4. EscapeCollegeFashion:  Avoid the items that scream “college!” Work apparel should not include backpacks, wrinkly clothing or ill-fitting clothing. Dress for the position and authority you wish to be in!
  5. Don’t Abuse Casual Friday:  Many offices offer their employees Casual Friday – This is not your opportunity to fully “let go” when it comes to your style standards for the workplace. Even when dressing more casually, the above 4 tips apply!


For more HR Best Practices, or inquiries, get immediate answers by calling (877) 636-9525.

It’s getting to be that time of the year… When a nice sunny day at the pool sounds a lot better than being cooped up inside of the office!  Surely we’ve all been tempted, and if you actually have played hooky before, you are not alone.  According to recent surveys conducted by the Workforce Institute at Kronos, the number of U.S. workers pretending to be sick is on the rise. Last year, 52% of U.S. workers admitted to faking illness to get some time off.calling into work

As an HR Manager or Business Owner responsible for monitoring an employee’s paid sick days, this can certainly create turmoil, or, an awkward conversation at the very least. In a recent article published by, "I'm not really sick" was listed as the number 1 thing your employees won’t say to you.

What do you do when you suspect an employee of faking sick? And can you do anything?

Profitable employee performance and efficient operations start with defining and enforcing clear HR policies and procedures – Have you established what’s expected overall in the form of a policy manual? If so, and you feel that an employee has violated the policy surrounding paid time off, confronting the employee without violating their individual rights can be quite difficult.

Minor employee issues can often be addressed through an employee performance review, and a fair warning can be issued. However, every situation is unique and a trusted HR Advisor should be contacted before confronting an employee. The HR Advisors at HR Shield will help you determine what action (if any) needs to be taken.

Regardless of how minor the issue may seem, if you suspect an employee of faking illness, it should not be ignored. In extreme cases, employees have been known to fake workplace illness to collect workers compensation claims. In these more serious situations, a number of legal actions can be taken, and HR Shield offers member discounts on labor attorney services, in addition to HR support.

To get immediate answers to your employee management questions, call (877) 636-9525 for more information.


Time clocks are utilized in many places of employment to make hour and wage administration easier, but what happens when you have an employee (or even a few employees) abusing the system? While put in place to help, sometimes the time clock can hurt! Let’s review!

Possible Scenarios

  • Employees are clocking in early, but not necessarily working the first few minutes or even worse, the first hour, as they get settled.
  • Employees are forgetting to clock out for lunch! 
  • Employees are forgetting to clock out at the end of the day, creating more administration than planned, to correct the time and hour record.

Quick Solutions & Compliance

  • Too many hours on the clock and not observing enough work? Assert yourself; make the employee aware of your organization’s expectations and what the consequences are for “abusing” the time clock. Unless addressing all employees as a whole, this should be a private conversation or discussed within an employee performance review. Although everything employee-related should be recorded, a verbal warning should fix the problem. If the problem persists, a written warning should be distributed, and if the problem persists beyond that, it’s time to discuss employee penalties and/or termination. Consult an HR professional for a second opinion.  
  • Too many employees forgetting to clock out for lunch? It’s hurting you financially! Try strategically placed signs/reminders within your place of employment (entries and exits). If this does not work, you may have an issue with employees trying to cheat the clock – refer to recommendations above.
  • If an employee doesn’t punch in in the morning, or out at night, correct the situation by editing to the actual scheduled start of the shift or end of the shift. Sometimes, filling out a form on behalf of the employee a time or two will serve as a friendly reminder that pay is based on the time clock, and if they forget, the standard practice will be entering the actual shift hours that were scheduled. 

When it comes to hour and wage-related questions, your HR Advisor at HR Shield can help you find the answers you need. For more information, contact us.