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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…

Management just let everyone know that we're going to continue a salary freeze for at least another six months. For some people, that means they won't have seen a raise in more than two years. How can we keep our employees motivated when it doesn't seem like there's any light at the end of the tunnel?—B.D., New York

Many lawsuits result from relatively small, manageable disputes that weren’t dealt with directly, often because HR simply didn’t know what to do or feared making it worse. Here are my favorite strategies for dealing with disruptive conflict, based on the book Resolving Conflicts at Work by Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith.

When sued, employers must preserve all evidence in their possession that may concern the lawsuit and its underlying claims. That means that as soon as you receive an EEOC complaint, you should issue a litigation hold directing the retention of all electronic communications, such as e-mails. Don’t let employees make their own decisions about which e-mails they should keep.

Vouchers for compact fluorescent light bulbs and rooftop solar panels have taken their place next to health insurance and flextime as popular employee benefits. Young job-seekers want to work for socially responsible, environmentally friendly companies. That’s one reason more companies have begun offering “green” employee benefits.

As we enter the back-to-school season, office supplies have begun to disappear. Does anyone have any policy or procedure in place to thwart this type of behavior? In your experience, will a firm but diplomatic e-mail help? It's getting expensive and embarrassing as large quantities walk away.—K in FL

The idea behind alternative dispute resolution is that cases will take less time and cost less money to litigate. But that may not always be true. Often, employees who have signed arbitration agreements and promised to use an alternative dispute-resolution process end up suing in federal court to try to get the agreement thrown out. Courts often oblige.

Tips on how to stay connected to off-site employees and how to integrate new technology at work.
How to spot what employees do right and become a more effective motivator and team leader.
Words of wisdom about determination and accomplishing your goals.
Thoughts on how to discipline poor performers without muddling your message.