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…

With unemployment still running above 9% nationally, many people are taking jobs that are lateral—or even downward—moves in their careers. As a result, many managers are supervising employees who have far more experience than the job requires. Use the following guidelines to effec­tively manage overqualified workers and lengthen their stay:
From time to time, people who report to you will bring you problems created by a decision that you made. They may appear exasperated by the pickle you put them in. Your response, in all cases, should be a good-natured invitation for the two of you to go have a look. Use these exact words: “Let’s go see!”
Author Sarah Miller Caldicott, great-grandniece of the inventor, is working on a second book about Thomas Edison’s collaboration methods. Edison believed in collaboration not only as a way of accelerating the innovation process, but to expand the solution set, Caldicott says. He liked to create diverse groups of people from diverse disciplines.
If you’re in a supervisory position, don’t wait until it’s time for a formal performance review to dish out the positive words. Here are six guidelines for effective praising, from Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees:
First ask, “How can I help?” Listen intently to unroot the real issue. Frame the issue to ensure you’re both on the same page. Then help advance the agenda.
Many company leaders are looking at work/life flexibility to help employees manage their workloads, their time and their personal com­mitments without burning out. The surprise: Employees are resisting it. That means it’s up to HR to position flexibility as a po­ten­tial solution. Here are seven tactics to try:

Good news for the bosses of the world: Most employees (59%) say their direct supervisors are doing a good or even great job. However, 20% of the respondents to the CareerBuilder.com survey say their supervisors’ performance is poor or very poor. The biggest gripes?

Say one of your employees stops by your office with a troubled look on her face. She has a complaint, but wants to speak with you “off the record.” Can you comply with her request for confidentiality? Should you? It all depends on the content and context of the complaint.

Plan a reverse elevator pitch: Every­body knows about the 30-­second “elevator speech” aspiring employees should have on hand when riding the elevator with head honchos. But do you have a snippet ready for times you’re confined in a small space with a subordinate or a visitor?
One book, The Happiness Advantage, explains what happens when your brain is faced with a daunting goal. So watch out how you set big goals or your people will freeze.