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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The widespread use of blogs and social networking web sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter has employers worried about what their employees are keyboarding and texting. Employers must develop electronic communications policies to cope with the new technology.

California employers are popular targets for lawyers looking for the next big lawsuit hit. They may have found a new one right under their ... well ... butts.

There’s a guy in our shop who whistles almost nonstop at an ear-piercing level. His co-workers have asked him to stop, and then they asked me to ask him to stop. When I did, he said he had a right to whistle. Now whenever he sees me coming, he starts to whistle really loudly. This is causing a lot of tension in our shop, and a lot of his co-workers are getting very aggravated. I don’t believe this calls for any kind of formal discipline—that would be like disciplining someone just for being a jerk. Any ideas on what to do to get this guy to cut out his annoying behavior?—DS, Fla.
New research shows that one of the most overlooked ways to motivate people at work is to give them more freedom with their jobs.
From Feb. 12–28, Vancouver will host the Olympic Winter Games. Nearly 30,000 volunteers will do everything from pick up trash to provide medical services.
There’s no single secret to managing people. But two irreplaceable rules of smart supervision come close: Keep things simple and stoke employees’ loyalty.
I was promoted about four months ago. I recently got into a disagreement with one of the owners. It's water under the bridge now, but I have noticed she takes a very aggressive, demeaning and not-so-happy tone with me now. Since the disagreement, I get anxiety attacks when she’s around. I've found myself avoiding her because of this, but contact between us is inevitable. What should I do?—Erika, Florida
I need help putting a muzzle on one of our workers who is an awful gossip. Recently, one of our best salespeople got help with paperwork duties so she could concentrate on meeting sales goals. An employee overheard two managers discussing the change and immediately ran to co-workers and said the salesperson was being relieved of assignments because she wasn’t making her numbers. That’s not the case at all. Now everyone thinks this good salesperson is being punished. Needless to say, this is embarrassing and has caused a lot of tension. I need to set the record straight—and I would really like to discipline the gossiping employee, who has done this kind of thing before. What should I do?—Stacy, NY

Major problems can erupt when supervisors have to manage people they just don't get along with. Smart managers defuse that tension by focusing on tasks, projects and results—not personalities. Feel free to use this 'Memo to Managers' article to educate your supervisors. Paste the content into an e-mail, company newsletter or other communication.

A few years ago a manager bragged to me that he ran a "well-oiled machine." As we enter 2010, the man is miserable ...
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