Cal Butera

Here’s your monthly language tuneup.

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One of the first things a manager comes to realize is that employees can’t really be changed. Oh, you can steer them a bit with rewards and discipline, but you can never transform them into your dream workers. They either are or they aren’t. For those little irritating idiosyncrasies you’d like to pluck from your workers, all you need is a pair of tweezers and a steady hand …

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Workplace decorum or etiquette—call it what you want—is essential to staying on a successful career path or just being likeable by the people who spend eight hours a day with you. And although your employee handbook is loaded with do’s and don’ts on the issues of legal importance and organizational protocol, there are some things that are too weird to print. These are the gaffes found in every workplace committed by many employees who, well, just don’t get it. And it’s worse when a boss doesn’t get it.

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If you haven’t been charged with shaking innovation out of your staff, you may soon be. Here’s what managers can do to make it happen.

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When dealing with millennials, take a tip from Pizza Hut: Don’t focus too much on them as a homogenous group.

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According to Jason Chen, writing in Bloomberg Businessweek, vintage pencils are gaining traction as the preferred writing instrument of those who just might be tired of the pen and PC and want the feel of a well-balanced wooden writing tool.

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Have you ever taken a good look around your workplace? I mean a really critical look, as if you were a highly recruited job candidate deciding if yours is the place you would want to come to every day. The truth is, a shoddy, unkempt, outdated workplace may not only hamper productivity, it’s probably driving away good job candidates as well.

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Here’s your monthly language tuneup.

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Both of these lovable cartoon characters have characteristics inherent in a lot of the folks who answer your employment ads—or who are on your payroll right now.

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Bosses are full of bossisms. You know, a certain way of speaking to your workers that naturally comes to all who enter the gates of management. And whether you’re euphemizing, energizing or just skating by the moment with a threadbare phrase, just be aware that those words you say are going through your employees’ decoders. Here is a list of common bossisms and their interpretations by the rank-and-file.

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