New Year’s Resolutions for the Smart Employer

This article is by Cory Halliburton, Guest Contributor

Over the holidays, I left the law behind for a bit and spent some quality time with my wife on Main Street in Grapevine. As we strolled along the bustling streets of the Christmas Capitol of Texas, I noticed waitresses rushing about, Northgate workers getting it done, and other practical aspects of my practice area (employment law) that I had not reflected on in some time. For whatever reason, the occasion gave me ideas for these New Year’s resolutions for the employer.

Hire with Patience

Hopefully, economic growth in Grapevine and the Metroplex will stay strong in 2012. As employers hire, they should take the necessary amount of time to pinpoint the best-fitting employee for the company. We live in an age of technology that substitutes instant messaging for careful thought. Yet a favorable and beneficial hiring decision takes patience and commitment.

Every candidate should complete an application, and the company should contact the candidate’s references. An employer can learn much from an application and a simple phone call.

Some people may take jobs beneath their capabilities and below their earning potential while searching for better options. An employer that attempts to get a steal with a seriously overqualified candidate will probably lose on the deal.

Meaningful Performance Reviews

Resolve to conduct meaningful and fair performance reviews. For effectiveness, employers should tailor the forms towards the position being reviewed. Evaluation forms should be drafted with input from the managers that will conduct the reviews. Multiple supervisors reviewing the same employee should reach consensus before putting their thoughts into writing. Supervisors reviewing a group of employees in the same position should be consistent with their evaluations. Consistent standards give the process credibility.

Take Corrective Action Now, Not Later

I help many employers through difficult workplace situations. Often, the company wishes to discuss a ‘problem’ employee before making a decision. I often hear, ‘We should have fired him last year when we had the chance.’ In other words, last year the employee did something that would have been grounds for termination, yet he remained on the job. Additional chances rarely work when the underlying misconduct reflects dishonesty or substantially poor judgment. Few employers can teach ethics and integrity. Consider a performance improvement plan, but do not be afraid to terminate an employee who is a detriment to the company.

Read the Employee Handbook

The company’s employee handbook likely applies to you, so you might as well know what it says. By reading the company’s rules of employment, you might learn that the company’s rules don’t match the company’s practices. Also, in any employment-related lawsuit, the company will benefit by the employer knowing what the handbook says; trust me on this one.

This New Year, as other resolutions fall to the wayside, dedicate yourself to these four first-rate employment practices. Your company will thank you for New Years to come. I thank my fellow shareholder, Mark Levine, for his input to this article, and I thank GTO for publishing, among other things.


  1. I’m not exactly sure how to make a new post on your site but I thought I should bring something to your attention. I went fishing last Friday (purely because it was 71 degrees). We got hungry around noon and went to oil Peres for some grub. I had heard they were closed…point was true. We left there and went to the other burger joint, Big Daddy’s, and this was also closed. We left there and went to the marina by the Glass Cactus…also closed. So, here we are and all we want is a freaking sandwich. It was either order ifratellies or do what every other fisherman has thought of doing…climb the wall of the cactus. We drove up, beached the boat, anchored it to the largest and closest rock around, and started the hike. Here we are, fighting through thorns & briars, dressed in crappy fishing clothes that smell like dead minnows and old outdated stink bait, fighting through the “grapevine forest” to get to the damn glass cactus. Once reaching we discovered it was indeed closed too! So, we made the journey to the Gaylord. Making this journey was similar to being in Vegas and saying “hey, that casino ‘insert name’ doesn’t seem that far, let’s just walk!”. What looks like a ten minute walk is actually a 30 minute hike! Once arriving at our destination, after passing all the ridiculous ‘over hyped I’m glad we finally made it to the Cotton Bowl’ crowd, we settled in to eat. We ordered 2 orders of $13 chicken fingers & tap beers that tasted like the keg lines hadn’t been cleaned out since the Cowboys last made the playoffs. To which I might add that the waitresses were still wearing Cowboy jerseys…wake up people! Who in the he’ll runs these bars… Even tourists can see through that crap. Regardless, we spent our $60 and went back down tour beached boat. Thank God it was still there and we preceded to head out to finish our day.

    The point of all this is to get some freaking restaurants on lake Grapevine. It’s a whip without em’. Thanks for the forum to vent…holla.

  2. You should have submitted it to the Solution Box.

    Or just emailed it to me and I could have posted it. Although I would have edited it and made it funnier.