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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…

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Is bullying marring your workplace? Gary Namie, co-founder and director of the Workplace Bullying Institute, advises going directly to management.

Progressive discipline is a system in which penalties increase upon repeat occurrences. But don’t pick and choose which employees you run through progressive discipline. It’s critical to apply those procedures to all employees or none, as this new case shows ...

We have to lay off several employees. Some have only been with us a couple of years, but one has worked here for 13 years. We want to treat them right by providing severance pay, but I don't know how much is appropriate. Those of you who have been in this situation, how much severance did you offer?—Jason, Ga.

Layoffs, pay cuts and an uncertain economy have left many organizations with fewer employees to do the work—often for the same or less money. Not all of those employees are handling it well. Here are a dozen ways you can deal with economy-induced employee stress and help your employees focus on their work:

Here are four ways managers can make sure they really hear what their employees are saying. The payoff: fewer costly mistakes, less wasted time and better quality and service. Feel free to pass this article along to your supervisors.

Move over, Google. Microsoft grabs tech headlines this month by adding zippy new features to its Internet Explorer browser. Here are four cool tricks that will save time for you and your employees.

We have an office cubicle workplace. Some of our employees like to listen to music during the day. Naturally, not everyone likes everyone else’s taste in music. I don’t want to referee these silly fights. I want a policy that says “If you are listening to music, use headphones.” Does anyone have a policy I can copy?—Laura, Boston
Like everyone else, we’ve been battered by the recession. We’ve started to turn things around, but our employees are pretty beat up by a tough business environment and a couple of layoffs we’ve had to do. Morale is poor. The general feeling is that we’re paddling like mad just to stay in the same place. Any ideas for inexpensive but meaningful ways to show staff that we appreciate their hard work and sacrifice during hard times?—Steve T., North Carolina
Our company has a MySpace page, to which all employees were invited to join. Soon after, one of our employees posted on his own MySpace page a derogatory comment about a co-worker. Naturally, that comment showed up on our MySpace page, and now the co-worker wants us to do something about it. But what? I'm at a loss about how or whether we can do anything. Suggestions?--Anonymous
One of our employees has come to me with a request that makes me nervous. She wants to invite co-workers to attend Bible study sessions on our company’s premises. The gatherings would take place before working hours in a staff picnic area on our grounds. We don’t have any kind of policy addressing this. Are there any legal or other issues I should consider before I decide what to do?—SJM, Fla.

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