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…

While you can’t dole out happiness pills, learn how you can spread optimism to fortify employees against adversity.
What’s one of the worst ways to ruin your reputation as a manager? Give employees a reason to call you a hypocrite.
I need some good employee-appreciation ideas—that don’t cost a lot of money. My company has about 500 employees working in different departments. I just started in HR about six months ago, and they don’t even recognize birthdays! I’d like to start an employee appreciation program. Some examples would help me sell the idea to top management. Can you share what you do in your company?—Rhonda, Miss.

Whether it's deserved or not, the perception that management is "against" employees, once earned, is difficult to shake. That's why it's so important for supervisors and HR to treat all employees fairly and consistently at all times, especially when it comes to discipline. These five questions can help managers gauge whether their discipline is fair. BONUS: 7 tips for documenting your disciplinary process.

Q. We are a nonunion shop. One of our employees is currently under investigation for sexual harassment. He has asked to have a representative present during all meetings and interviews related to the investigation. Do we have to permit him to have representation?

Inappropriate attire … tardiness … poor work habits ... sexually offensive behavior … personal hygiene. HR professionals are routinely forced to discuss those uncomfortable topics with employees. What's the most awkward conversation you've ever had to have with an employee? How did you approach the discussion? How did it turn out?—The HR Specialist Forum Editors

Virtually every federal employment law has an anti-retaliation provision—they would be toothless tigers without them. Employees who can’t prove outright discrimination often try the retaliation route. The EEOC handled a record-high 33,613 retaliation complaints in 2009. As a result, employers must tread carefully when dealing with an employee who has exercised his or her rights under any federal law.

Ideas for motivating your staff without monetary incentives.
Keeping written records of an employee’s substandard actions or behavior gives you more disciplinary options if problems worsen. Here are some ideas to properly documenting events.
Worrying about money poses a particularly serious health risk in this economy. Even if your bank account is fine, consider your employees’ ?financial woes.