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…

As the new global CEO of Deloitte Touche, Barry Salzberg has revamped the traditional hierarchy. It’s time to ditch the “ladder metaphor,” when it comes to building a career, he says. Employees now move up, down and sideways on the lattice.

Giving feedback is an important legal and practical management task—and certainly not an easy one. Many managers make the mistake of dishing out feedback only when employees do something wrong. But praise can also be an effective motivational tool, if used correctly. Here are seven guidelines to follow:

Friction often exists between HR and supervisors because those front-line bosses don’t fully understand your HR role … and they may hold certain stereotypes about your department. Advice: Set the stage for HR-management collaboration with an “HR for managers” meeting. Explain how key HR functions practically benefit managers and their departments.
Employee focus groups are a good way you can uncover issues affecting productivity and retention. Use the following steps to organize your focus groups without excessive red tape or cost:
When talking to friends and family, nearly three-quarters of working Americans (72%) say they refer to the organization where they work at as “we,” while only 20% refer to it as “they,” according to a Kenexa survey.
Google, the king of search engines, recently set out on a search of its own—to identify the qualities that make the highest quality managers at Google Inc., and then to replicate those qualities across the entire company. The end result: a simple, yet ele­gant, list of eight management practices that the best Google managers consistently do.

Managers should make documentation of employee performance, behavior and discipline a regular habit. Strong documentation is especially important if an employee or ex-employee ever files a legal complaint saying his or her termination or discipline was based on illegal discrimination.

The effects of the recession have helped turn the spotlight on innovative employers that seem to have magic formulas for attracting and keeping their employees happy and productive despite the economic forces around them. SAS Institute and Google are two examples of companies that, consciously or not, have tapped into new ways of motivating employees. Call it “employee enrichment.”
Frances Hesselbein, who led the Girls Scouts of the USA from 1976 to 1990, was named the “Best Nonprofit Manager in America” by Fortune magazine. But what makes her truly remarkable as a leader isn’t that so many people think of her as an outstanding leader. What’s exceptional is the way she gets others to think of themselves as leaders.
You already know to scold employees in private. You don't want to embarrass them at the same time that you're criticizing some aspect of their performance. But reprimanding in private doesn’t excuse you from speaking diplomatically.