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…

When you talk with employees about their performance reviews, beware of using common phrases that can unintentionally communicate the wrong message, or come across as too negative or personal. Certain phrases can kill employee morale, weaken productivity or open up the organization to a discrimination lawsuit. Avoid the following phrases...

Francena Smith will return to her former job at Kraft Foods’ Maxwell House division in Jacksonville following an arbitrator’s decision. Smith filed an EEOC gender discrimination claim alleging she was disciplined more harshly than several male workers who were also involved in incidents at the plant that caused contamination of the coffee.

Here’s some food for thought: Failing to stop an employee from harassing women and men alike may be legally acceptable, but is probably still ill-advised. An employer that allows such conduct may escape legal liability, but that tolerance may make the workplace unattractive to good employees. Plus, it probably won’t be as productive as it would be with good anti-harassment policies in place.

“If HR stays on the transaction side, we’ll be out of business in 10 years,” said Conrad Venter, global head of HR at Deutsche Bank. “Business leaders will say.… ‘Where’s the value?’” and choose to outsource those transactional duties."
Our employees are by far the “gossipiest” group I have ever worked with. Rumors fly around the shop floor and office at lightning speed. These people dish the dirt on each other, and they’re always “learning” that we’ve just lost a big customer or we’re going to cut hours or someone is about to get fired. Of course, most of these rumors are untrue. I try to put out the fires as fast as possible, but I’m wondering if there’s a better overall way to put an end to this weird culture. Has anyone else faced this problem? Any advice on what I can do so gossip isn’t such a distraction?—Pete, Bay Area
If a star employee has ever surprised you during an exit interview by saying she had been dissatisfied with her job for a long time, you’re not alone. It’s common to find a vast divergence between employee satisfaction and management’s take on the situation. Managers frequently make five big mistakes that can send your valued employees packing. Luckily, they’re easy to fix.
The DOL’s Women’s Bureau has started what it calls “a national dialogue on workplace flexibility,” and the agency is pushing employers to focus more on the work/life benefits of flex. Here are 11 steps you can take to make flex programs more successful—making work/life balance easier for your employees and improving your overall business operations:

The “at least I have a job” feeling is starting to wear off among employed Americans. After years of taking on new duties at their old pay, many are feeling overworked, underpaid and underpromoted. Two in five of them are seeking new jobs. Here are four key things your employees will look for elsewhere if you’re not providing it:

Today’s economic climate has caused employers to cut budgets and workforces—and expect workers to do more with less. As they see colleagues laid off and their employers cutting back, employees are more concerned than ever about their own job security. It makes sense for employers to address stress issues in their workforces, since increased stress affects not only employees, but employers’ bottom lines.

Our front-desk receptionist is a gem. She very capably handles all her duties and presents a very favorable “public face” for the company … except for one thing. She is prone to religious proselytizing, not just with people who work here, but occasionally with visitors, too. Sometimes, it’s just, “Have a blessed day.” But other times, she’ll roll out a whole Bible verse to suit whatever mood she is in. I have received a few complaints about this, but everyone is quite shy about making it a big deal since she is otherwise so great. How can I tell her to tone it down without offending her? Can we get in legal trouble by asking her to stop preaching?—Krista, S.C.