Margaret Bartiromo

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6 Ideas for Motivating Employees During the Winter

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 7:30:00 AM

It’s February and while spring is only a month away, your employees may be feeling a bit of the winter blues. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, lack of sunlight has been linked to feelings of sluggishness and mood changes, so winter’s shorter days may lead to fewer productive work hours and lower employee morale. 

Tips for Beating the Winter Blues

If you’re noticing signs of lethargy among your employees at this time of year, consider the following ideas to help keep your workers motivated:


  1. Encourage your workers to step outside for at least 30 minutes each day. Exposure to natural sunlight can help lift moods. And even on cloudy days, a brisk walk can alleviate those “blah” feelings.
  2. Offer healthy food choices in the office. reports that staying hydrated and eating more fruits and vegetables can battle the winter blues. Keep filtered water on hand and make sure salads and fresh fruit are part of the menu at lunch meetings. Check out our blog on Promoting a Healthy Workplace for more suggestions.
  3. Change things up! Employees may become more motivated when their jobs are more challenging and interesting. Consider lateral moves to build your workers’ skill levels and knowledge base.
  4. Create opportunities for casual interaction. A company sports team, a family day or an after-hours social event can keep your staff engaged and interested in each other and in their workplace.
  5. Give your workers some face-to-face time with you. Email, voicemail and texting often eliminate the need for personal interaction. Step out of your office every so often and speak with your employees directly.
  6. Let your employees know how they're doing. Even a simple gesture such as a handwritten thank-you note for a job well done may go a long way toward letting employees know they're appreciated. And don't forget annual performance reviews—a good review provides the employee with an honest assessment of his or her strengths and weaknesses and offers the employee a platform to bring up any concerns he or she may have, keeping the lines of communication open. 
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Preventing Race and Color Discrimination in the Workplace

Posted on Jan 21, 2013 7:30:00 AM

Today marks the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  According to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Dr. King’s nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s and ‘60s achieved legal equality for African-Americans in the United States, and his actions contributed to the passage of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race or color (as well as religion, national origin, or sex) when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.


Even though the Civil Rights Act is almost 50 years old, race and color discrimination continues to exist in the workplace. In fact, racial discrimination is one of the most frequently filed claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), second only to retaliation charges in FY 2011.

Best Practices for Employers

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Can an Employee Use FMLA Leave for the Flu?

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 7:30:00 AM

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2012-2013 influenza season started early and activity remains high in the United States. The CDC warns that this may continue for some time. If the flu is causing your employees to take time off, either because they themselves are ill or because a family member has come down with the flu, you may be wondering if these employees are entitled to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

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5 HR and Benefits Compliance Resolutions for 2013

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 7:30:00 AM

The New Year brings with it a host of resolutions, from getting in shape to becoming more organized. While we typically think of setting personal goals around the first of the year, it's a great idea for businesses to make these resolutions, too! Here are 5 ways to help your company "shape up" and get better organized in 2013:

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Give Me a Break! Are Meal and Rest Periods Required?

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 7:30:00 AM

Meal and rest periods can promote efficiency among your employees and can improve performance by allowing workers to step away from their duties and clear their heads. It may surprise you to learn, however, that only 1 in 5 employees actually takes a lunch break, according to a survey by Right Management. Whether it’s because workers feel pressured to perform, employers set unrealistic work goals or the office culture generally frowns upon meal breaks, many employees are working through their lunch hours.


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The End-of-Year Bonus: Rewarding Your Employees for a Job Well Done

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 7:30:00 AM

Whether it's been a prosperous year for your company or you're feeling the effects of the still sluggish economy, it's important to recognize your employees' contributions—and that doesn't necessarily mean a cash bonus or raise.


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'Tis the Season: Dos and Don'ts of Employee Performance Reviews

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 7:30:00 AM

For employers, wrapping up the old year may involve closing your books, finalizing your budget and scheduling your employees' annual performance reviews. While reviews can be done at any time of the year (for example, on the anniversary of an employee's start date), you may want to end the year by resolving any lingering issues that may have gone unaddressed during the past 12 months.

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Alcohol and Office Holiday Parties: 7 Ways to Reduce Your Liability

Posted on Nov 30, 2012 7:30:00 AM

Office holiday parties can build morale, offer opportunities for more casual interactions among workers, and reward employees for a productive year—but did you know they can also be a source of liability for your company?


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Implementing a No Smoking Policy for Your Workplace

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 7:30:00 AM

Tomorrow is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. The ACS is marking the event by encouraging smokers to use November 15th to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.  


Smoking and Your Employees 

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Are You Required to Give Your Employees Time Off to Vote?

Posted on Oct 24, 2012 7:30:00 AM

Election Day is November 6, 2012.  With less than two weeks to go, you may be wondering if you must give your employees time off to vote during the workday. While federal law does not require voting leave, most states do mandate some type of leave to vote.

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