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Stephanie Taylor Christensen

Given that recent research by the Society of Human Resources Management indicates just 38% of employees in the United States are very satisfied with their job, there’s a good chance your employees may be unhappy at work—despite what they share verbally.

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Just as the coach of a losing team can be the force that keeps players giving their all down to the last second of the game, managers have an opportunity to make a significant impact on how their employees perceive times of challenge—even when the company chips are down.

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Finding qualified candidates requires an investment of time, energy and money from all involved in your organization’s recruitment, hiring and training functions—but your role as a manager doesn’t really begin until after employees have completed their new-hire paperwork.

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Employee one-on-ones are critical meetings leaders can leverage to understand employee interests, strengths and weaknesses; to build a sense of mutual trust and respect; and provide the support employees need. But like most meetings, there are some basic guidelines you and your employees should know and adhere to.

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Being a manager requires that you strike a number of sensitive balances with your team and peers: You want to develop authentic and respectful relationships, while maintaining professional boundaries. It’s a tall order.

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Though it’s respectful to give thought to your letter’s content, writing a recommendation that’s personal, relevant and helpful to the requestor doesn’t have to be laborious.

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These 3 simple phrases could transform your employee relationships.

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4 simple mind games that can improve your performance in the workplace.

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New to management? Here are 4 tips to help you establish authority.

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Stuck with formal performance evaluations? Put a positive spin on a tired system.

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