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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When laggards repeatedly fail to meet minimal job expectations, putting them on probation will only get you so far.
The ability to ask shrewd questions is a manager’s secret weapon. By posing carefully worded inquiries in a neutral tone, you increase your odds of getting more revealing answers.
You already know to praise more than you criticize. But there are subtler ways to convey your satisfaction with employees’ effort or performance.
When John Shiely became chief executive of Briggs & Stratton Corp. in 2001, he learned to modulate his communication style. Instead of telling staffers what he wanted, he asked questions and listened without interrupting.

Surveys of U.S. workers consistently show that employees want more than a paycheck from their jobs—they want to feel safe, secure and appreciated at work. Here are eight guidelines for recognizing and rewarding employees, according to an Adecco management report.

Now that warm weather has arrived, it seems abundantly clear that some of our employees are, shall we say, hygienically challenged. Any suggestions on what to say or how to handle an employee who has body odor?—Darlene, Pennsylvania
Surveys of U.S. workers consistently show that employees want more than a paycheck from their jobs—they want to feel safe, secure and appreciated at work. Good recognition and rewards provide employees with three things: A fair return for their efforts. Motivation to maintain and improve their performance. A clarification of what behaviors and outcomes the [...]
I need some help coming up with good interview questions. We’re hiring and—because the economy is so slow—we’re getting tons of applicants for every job we post. Many are equally well-qualified, so we have the luxury of looking for people with the intangible qualities we seek: initiative, collaborative skills, entrepreneurial spirit, pride in a job well done. I use the standard “Tell me about a time when you…” questions, but I’d like some fresh questions that really get at what kind of person the applicant is. What questions have you asked that revealed stellar personal traits?—Theresa, Chicagoland

The recession has plenty of employees distracted and anxious—about their jobs, their 401(k)s and their monthly bills. That’s not good news at a time when you need to squeeze every ounce of productivity from your employees. These 14 tips can motivate shell-shocked employees.

One of the managers at our small firm constantly chooses on a whim which company policies apply to her people. She lets the departments she manages have privileges no other department in the company has. For example, they get great latitude when filling out time sheets (which has led to what I consider Fair Labor Standards Act violations). As the HR rep, I hear complaints all the time about this inequitable policy flexibility. What should I do? I’m worried about morale, but also about legal liability. — Louise, Pennsylvania
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