Here are this week’s links to a few good stories we found and selected. We feel they might add valuable insights and perspectives for small to midsize businesses.

Engagement surveys make sense, and we’re seeing more of them these days.

This may be a good thing, but what matters more is what happens once the data is collected. “Managers don’t always understand what truly motivates people” says Robert Teachout in Engagement Surveys: It’s What You Do About the Results That Counts. If employees are indeed the most important business asset, it makes sense to make that asset as productive as it can be.

A collective $400 billion is lost in productivity each year.

That’s data from the Kentucky CPA Journal as cited in Employee Productivity: What Is Time Theft & How Do You Stop It? The article offers some good advice, but business owners should never lose sight of federal mandates such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other local laws as well.

Speaking of the FLSA, what happens when an employer makes employees clock out anytime they want a break that exceeds 90 seconds? Plenty.

Progressive Business Publications, a Pennsylvania company, got plenty of unwanted attention by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently as the court affirmed a judgment of $1,916,000 for employees—half of which was for unpaid minimum wages. The article Company’s “Flex Time” Program Draws Ire of the Third Circuit, Leads to Nearly $2 million Judgment shares a great example why employers should always take heed of the FLSA.