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…

Disciplining poor performers is among the most dreaded tasks for many managers. But if you prepare carefully, the disciplinary process becomes far easier.
American managers typically adopt the egalitarian, empowerment-driven model while those from some other cultures (such as many Asian nations) favor a hierarchical approach.
Most weight-loss regimens bring a frown to a dieter’s face. In January, spread awareness for healthy weight loss while injecting fun into the proceedings.

Supervisors and managers MUST report harassment to higher-ups. But what are the reporting obligations of “team leaders” or “leads”? These are people who have more responsibilities than employees but less than full-fledged members of management. Leads live in that “gray zone” somewhere in between. So what are their obligations? One court recently clarified it: Train them like managers to report suspected harassment. Staying silent will create liability.

Talking with employees about their performance problems can be an uncomfortable moment for any manager. But it’s also a crucial part of the job and, if done well, will ultimately make a manager’s job much easier. Here are seven steps to planning and executing such discussions:

If H1N1 flu threatens to shut down businesses nationwide, employers are going to need contingency plans to make sure they keep running. Flexible work schedules, temporary shutdowns and telework can all help—but all have unexpected wage-and-hour implications. Here’s guidance from the Department of Labor on how to handle these tricky issues.

When hiring employees, especially off-site workers, streamline the orientation process by sending an e-mail with everything they need to know.
Social media evangelists are in love with Twitter, Facebook, and their ilk because these networks enable continuous “naked” conversations. Robert Scoble, I believe, has stated that his goal is to have at least one naked conversation a day.

A progressive discipline system is the best way to correct employee performance problems. It’s also the best way to protect against wrongful termination lawsuits. It allows you to ensure that any employee fired because of inferior performance was treated fairly and in accordance with your company’s policies. Here’s a five-step model for progressive discipline:

We're considering starting a "leave donation" program in which employees could contribute accrued sick, vacation and personal leave to co-workers whose ongoing health problems drain their own leave banks. It sounds like a great idea, but I want to make sure we do it right. For those of you who have such programs, what issues should I consider as I draft the policy? Have you experienced any unintended consequences?—Bill, Colorado