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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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 ...
Gus, a director at a natural gas utility firm in the Northeast, discusses his attempt to preserve morale amid the latest in a series of companywide reorganizations.
Motivating people doesn’t need to involve giving rah-rah speeches and dangling prizes for stellar performance. Sometimes, the best incentives are silent and invisible.
One of the most endearing traits of a good manager is a willingness to ask for feedback from peers and employees.
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.
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