Cal Butera

Cornering an employee to address performance issues is an unpleasant but necessary part of your job. It is, in essence, a closed-door moment where you lay out the person’s shortcomings, give him or her a chance to explain and then agree to a course of action.

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If you think about it, those hasty, canned responses to an underperforming employee are no different than the useless lines you might spew at a disobedient child. And how did that work out? Here are five to avoid.

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Maybe your workplace has a policy against crusty language on the job. Many places don’t. If yours doesn’t, don’t just sit back and let your ears ring from the F-bombs bursting in air as the cuss jar quickly fills up to bankroll the next pizza party. As a boss, you need to temper the language, if not put a downright stop to it. Here are some points to ponder.

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Your book of regulations is likely not all-encompassing, vague in spots and open to interpretation in others. It’s just a guide, for crying out loud. Which brings us to the fine art of fudging, bending or otherwise looking the other way in some circumstances. Done deftly, rule-bending can build a more engaged workforce.

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Every organization has one or two employees who can be labeled as hopelessly disengaged, totally unplugged and here just for the paycheck and other trimmings you call benefits. But what about the disengagement that permeates the whole workplace?

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Do you put much thought into your email sign-off? Chances are you don’t. Generally you pick one and stick with it no matter the length or gravity of your message. The reader of your email, especially one whom you are corresponding with for the first time, gleans something about you from your sign-off. Here are the top five email sign-offs and what the recipient could conclude.

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It’s the ultimate punch in the manager’s gut because it’s taken as a direct affront to the boss’s authority. You’ve been challenged. Undermined. Dissed. Ouch!

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Why are there no operator manuals for managers to properly handle employees? Well, now the problem is solved. You no longer have to wing it.

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Perhaps you’re lulled into thinking that you, the manager, in loco parentis, need to step up and deliver accolades and the unconditional hugs to your millennials. Not so fast. Here are the three trophies millennials do need.

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Check out this cartoon as employees wonder if doughnuts are up for grabs.

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