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People Management

With some employees, it isn’t a matter of ability, it’s a matter of attitude. And while you can’t control someone’s horrible personality, you can decide how you’re going to respond. Use these scripts and strategies to confront problem employees and effectively manage employee discipline so you can bring motivating back to the forefront of your workday.

The first rule of people management is not to let one bad apple spoil your whole bunch. Difficult people can put a strain on the productive members of your team.

Make the most of your human capital. Browse our articles on the good, the bad and the ugly of People Management…

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As lean-and-mean companies keep asking more of their beleaguered employees, you may find yourself goading your team members to take on work that falls outside their normal jobs. You don’t have to beg and plead. Instead, approach your workers as potential volunteers ...
Being an effective manager means confronting those “challenging” employees who, while typically good at their jobs, too often display unprofessional or downright obnoxious behavior. Simply tolerating such workers is a finger-in-the-dike approach, and it runs counter to two traits of good managers—leadership and decisiveness. Managers who silently put up with such behavior will undermine their own authority.

If you’re considering so-called alternative dispute resolution, be sure to have an experienced attorney draw up the arbitration agreement. It should clearly state that all employment disputes will be handled by arbitration. Your role in HR is to take all necessary steps to ensure employees understand that agreeing to arbitration is a condition of employment.

Motivating employees by giving away money sounds like a sure-fire winner. Dropping $20 here, $50 there as a way to salute exceptional performance sends the right message—right?
You set goals for your employees and map steps they can take to achieve them. You also listen to your team and choose goals accordingly. But even if you gain their buy-in and support their efforts in goal attainment, there's often a critical missing piece: Do your workers think they can reach the goal?
Don’t read too much into the NLRB's recent "Facebook rant" ruling. Despite much employer hand-wringing, the decision didn't give employees a free pass on social media posts. They still don’t have license to defame, disparage or otherwise trash their company, management, product or co-workers. Here's why.

After 20 years of being a secretary, writes one administrative professional, she knows how to do the necessary work. That hasn’t kept her current supervisor or her supervisor’s boss—both women—from berating and intimidating her. The admin asks, “How can I learn to stand up for myself in a professional manner?”

Supervisors have to make decisions on how to run the workplace every day. They can’t spend hours deliberating every move. Imagine how little actual work would get done if supervisors had to double-check every decision to make absolutely sure it was correct. Fortunately, courts don’t require perfection from employers—just assurance that they acted fairly and in good faith.

Don’t read too much into the recent foray by the NLRB into the brave new world of social media. Employees don’t receive a free pass on social media posts. They don’t have license to defame, disparage or otherwise trash their company, management, product or co-workers. Until the NLRB says otherwise, employers shouldn’t treat social media any differently than any other form of employee communications.
For most problem employees, deteriorating behavior and performance is a gradual process. Smart employers track the downward trajectory along the way.
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