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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It’s becoming a common problem: An employer discovers disparaging comments on an employee’s Facebook, MySpace or personal blog. Maybe a post reveals internal company information. Can the employer take disciplinary action? A series of new laws and evolving legal doctrines have placed limits on how far an employer can encroach on the private and off-site activities of its employees.

OSHA has announced that a Texas manufacturer faces $108,000 in proposed penalties for failing to abate safety violations after a worker died from an electrical shock. In January 2008, OSHA flagged six violations against JD Manufacturing, doing business as Arrow Waste.

Soon after Gary Lizalek was hired at a Wisconsin medical firm, he informed the company that he believed, as a matter of religious faith, that he was three separate beings. The company fired all three Lizaleks. He sued, saying the company failed to accommodate his religious beliefs.

This month's collection of real-world quick tips from American business leaders, brought to you by members of The Alternative Board.

I'm a one-person HR department, but I know a lot about payroll from an earlier job. Our finance supervisor just quit, so now I'm doing that job too. The sole remaining finance employee got a raise to reflect his increased workload, but I haven't received any extra pay. How should I approach my boss to address this disparity?—B.G., Fla.

How do you deal with problem employees? Expert HR trainer Amy Henderson says supervisors' discussions should focus on four points when addressing problem behavior.

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.
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