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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…

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
We're looking to create an incentive plan for all rank-and-file employees who bring in leads that help us land new business. (That's already part of our sales force's job, so they would be excluded.) What kind of incentives work best? I'm assuming cash is popular—so how much? How should we track our incentive program?—Bill M., Las Vegas
You work with another manager, Margaret, who doesn’t carry her load. She tends to kill time, procrastinate and operate at about 70 percent productivity ...
Got a morale problem? You may get lucky if it dissipates quickly and a brighter outlook prevails. But don’t count on it.
Raise accountability by asking “one year from now” questions.
In your eagerness to sell your idea to your staffers, you list reason after reason to build a convincing, airtight case. The only problem? You talked too much.
As our company’s only HR staff person, I’m in an awkward situation. My immediate supervisor reprimanded me for the way I handled a recent change in our working hours. Employees were confused, so I sent e-mails to various managers seeking the correct information. That exposed some serious disagreements between the managers and executives about the new hours. My boss said I should not have been so public about it, and then wrote me up for this alleged “infraction.” I think I handled it correctly and want the reprimand removed from my file. What should I do? I’m afraid the company president will take my supervisor’s side.—No name, no location (because I need this job)