Managing People at Work

Although flexible scheduling sounds great in theory, in practice it can sound like this: Managers regretfully say, “I’d like to help, but …” Employees complain, “You promised I wouldn’t have to come in?” Co-workers bitterly remark, “How come we’re stuck here while they get to work at home?”

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No matter how talented a manager you are, you’ll find yourself in tense situations with employees. Here are some tried-and-true tips for reducing tension and conflict.

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It’s a headache for every manager: You need to put into place new or revised policies that you think are wrongheaded. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

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“Tara,” you ask, “if they haven’t sent the requisitions back yet, and you need them, why don’t you just go up and get them?” “That woman is a witch,” she replied. “I don’t want to deal with Shirley even if it would make my job easier” …

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Whether tragedy strikes one person or a whole community, managers and their teams need to be prepared to deal with grief in the workplace. Test yourself with this true-or-false quiz:

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Think about “effective problem- solving.” What does it look like on your team? How do you define success? How long does it take? How often does it happen?

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Solving work-related problems is a team leader’s bread and butter. But what about those issues that you’d expect team members to handle on their own? Here’s how you can take “referee” out of your job description.

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If your written dress code policies are vague about what constitutes “appropriate” work attire or appearance, you’ll have to make judgment calls. Here’s some advice that can help you make the right calls.

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We’ve seen lots of cases where, after a bad review or disciplinary action, employees really turn themselves around — temporarily. Here’s what managers can do to make sure they don’t turn into yo-yo performers:

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How well do you treat job candidates? Some suggestions for managers:

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