How to Give Effective Employee Feedback

Company-to-employee feedback comes in many forms, but the most common and direct way to communicate performance evaluations comes in the form of criticism. Although today this term has come to connote a negative message, I’m using it in its broader definition, which encompasses both negative and positive responses.

Where the nuance of criticism gets muddy is in its conceptualization as a motivational tool. Not everyone receives criticism the same way and these days it doesn’t take much to actually offend peoples’ sensibilities if you handle feedback without a certain degree of tact.

Being honest and blunt is one thing, but it’s easy for employers to cross into malicious territory simply through choices of syntax and delivery. (more…)

IRS Says Yes! You Can Pay Someone As An Employee And A Contractor!

Much to the delight of both financial management firms and their clients alike, a major limitation that barred workers from serving as both employees and independent contractors within the same organization simultaneously has been lifted.

Thanks to an official inquiry submitted to the IRS concerning the possibility for someone to collect income both on company payroll as well as through accounts payable for work done elsewhere in the company, the agency has issued a ruling stating that given certain criteria are met, this practice is acceptable.

Ruling remains a case-to-case affair

Although the ruling could have major implications for those attempting to work in multiple departments within their company, it is by no means broad in its practical scope. The IRS will still look closely at the specific nature of each position and make judgments accordingly. (more…)

3 Ways To Gauge A Suitable Startup Salary

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of starting your own business from scratch is assessing how to divvy up your initial earnings with proper balance. Specifically, when setting your personal salary, it may be tempting to short yourself by being overly cautious with what you set aside for future business investments and other expenses.

Exhibiting a responsible degree of financial caution is by all means one of the most important things to remember when managing a new business in its infancy––especially in turbulent economic times. However, it is possible to sell yourself short when you are seeing success which can translate into personal and professional detriments.

Although it’s great to fall in love with your product or the service you provide, it’s important to keep your own finances in balance with what you provide. Here are some warning signs that might tip you off to a problem: (more…)

Start-Up Guidance: Make Money by Motivating Without It

Ask employers across industries what qualities they desire in an employee and odds are you’ll receive a multitude of answers, ranging from “passion” to “commitment” to “productive”. But what each response essentially boils down to is: “motivated”. Motivation is essential to cultivating any and all of these desired traits. The trick for employers, however, is how to instill this motivation in employees.

The temptation for many companies is to turn to the simple solution: cash. Cough up more dough and reap the reward of increased motivation. Research, however, has proven that using money as a motivator does little to create a culture of engagement and prolonged productivity. Our start-up guidance: deal with money, not in money. Here’s how:

1. Determine what motivates prospective employees before hiring.

Why? It’s unrealistic to assume that a person’s values will change to mirror yours the second they set foot in the office. Gauging employee motivations in the interview ensures you know what you’re getting and can prepare for it. If an employee seems more interested in the financial benefits of your offer than the work itself, chances are he won’t hesitate to turn to competitors who can or will offer more. (more…)

How To Get More Out Of Your Interview Questions

job interview

Sick of getting cliched responses to your interview questions? Try this simple, three-question approach.

Simply put, traditional interviewing and interview questions can be an ineffective ways to measure a potential employee’s ability to do his or her job. Folks who are good interviewees may not be good employees and vice versa.’s Jeff Haden recently sat down with John Younger, CEO of recruiting company Accolo, who conducts interviews so frequently he has the process down to a science. Younger says he learns the most about candidates by asking three simple interview questions about each of their past jobs, often without prodding with follow-ups.

First, Younger asks each interviewee how they found out about each past job. The key takeaway from this question, Younger says, is not each individual answer, but whether or not you start to notice a pattern in their answers as a whole. Especially in this rough economic climate, many people people apply and interview just to get a job—any job. (more…)