Managing People at Work

Healthy teams are more productive, and managers can support employee health by creating healthy workplaces. How does yours measure up?

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How do you deal with employees who seem to have negative attitudes about every decision you and your teams make? Here’s some expert advice:

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Even though you’re Alain’s supervisor, you and he have basically worked as equal partners for some time. But his ambition to move up is fairly transparent. And he’s a firm believer that it’s who you know, not what you know, that gets you ahead …

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“Stress-induced depression is on the rise and is predicted to be the leading occupational disease,” says author and consultant Scott Hunter. “This should be no surprise when gossip, petty jealousy and … adversarial communication pervade many office environments.”

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In his book Don’t Oil the Squeaky Wheel, Wolf Rinke debunks management myths and offers counterintuitive strategies to lead readers toward “contrarian leadership.”

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Chances are your new hires get at least some on-the-job training from experienced, high-performing team members. Those same veterans are also often the employees who are chosen to attend advanced training programs, and then asked to share their new knowledge with their colleagues. But are they good trainers?

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No, the customer is not always right. But that’s no excuse for conflict between workers and customers. Usually, the customer and employee are both right and both wrong, and managers need to use care when counseling employees after conflicts erupt.

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“Companies have to break the bad habit,” writes author and consultant Bob Nelson in a recent issue of Workforce Management, “of recognizing employees only by occasionally giving them stuff.”

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In the current climate of downsizing, frequent turnover and free-agent workers, nobody talks about “career employees” anymore. This is actually a good legal practice, say employment law experts.

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Almost every organization, regardless of industry, views excellence in customer service as essential to its success. Those customers may not be outsiders: “internal customer service” has become just as important to managers and team leaders.

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