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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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Talking to employees about performance problems, attendance issues, or an upcoming layoff can be awkward. Take these steps to make those conversations easier for you—and your employees.
"Great leaders surround themselves with A+ people," says Sander Flaum, chairman and CEO of Euro RSCG Becker. "Jack Welch [former CEO of General Electric] said the biggest mistake he ever made was not moving quickly enough on people who weren’t A+."
Employee conflict can be a healthy stimulus toward innovative solutions and a freer atmosphere in which to constructively disagree. David Roth, CEO of AppFirst, says there are five things he’s learned about it.
By focusing on each person’s performance as it related to a scorecard of desired results, North Carolina firm Bob Barker Co. enabled employees to increase their compensation by working harder and smarter. It also motivated everyone to contribute to the firm’s profitability.
The next time you hear a motivational speaker intone, “People have to want to change,” head for the door. Such nonsense stymies the best managers. In truth, change is typically imposed on people. They don’t like it, and they enter it kicking and screaming.
It’s never easy for managers to confront an employee whose performance is slipping or who has begun making more mistakes. Here are some key rules of engagement.
It’s only normal when you have a priority project that needs to be done right the first time that you turn to one of your top-notch employees. But when you start handing your top talent tight-deadline, high-priority projects day after day, you’re no longer offering them a challenge. You’ve crossed the line into “dumping” territory.

We reported last year that 39%  of HR managers think their organization’s employees are most productive on Tuesdays. How can you get workers up to speed the other four days of the workweek? Pass along these tips.

After Charalambos Vlachoutsicos advised a private equity fund to invest in a Romanian flour mill, the real challenge began. Suspicious of the mill’s new owners, the Romanian employees worried they’d be laid off. Heeding a Romanian friend's advice, Vlachoutsicos embraced transparency.
Don’t be the type of manager who deters your staff from giving you feedback. Avoid these actions:
The spreading of rumors and gossip in an organization is a definite sign that there is a problem with communication, especially if the rumors are focused on organizational performance.
Carry out a stress audit. Look at recent exit interview data, illness and absence statistics, and staff turnover records to help you pinpoint the ways that stress is affecting your staffers. High levels of turnover, illness and absenteeism are usually signs of stress.

Every organization runs into time crunches—sometimes predictable, sometimes sudden emergencies. Whenever your crazy time is, you could lose some of your best employees if they feel taken for granted. Encourage supervisors to follow these four steps to support employees during those times.

To help your team make a big decision, resist the urge to give your opinion or promote one side over the other. It’s ­better to play the role of debate ­moder­ator.
Rich Combs, executive chairman of Power Distribution Inc., a supplier of electrical switching equipment for data centers, says his experience working with Teamsters on a start-up at McDonnell Douglas taught him the value of tight interaction.
In late 2011, Susan Andrews came up with a bold campaign to spur innovation across Citigroup, a global financial firm. As head of innovation for the company’s Citi Ventures unit, Andrews decided to use social media to turn 263,000 em­­ployees in 97 countries into innovators.
Ivar Kroghrud sees himself as “chief ironing officer.” In his 13 years as CEO of QuestBack, he spent much of his time ironing out employees’ problems. He’s now lead strategist at the Oslo, Norway-based firm, which provides feedback management tools.

When Barry Tarasoff was research director of Schroder Wertheim, a Wall Street investment firm, he sought to hire en­­gaging, reasonable analysts who were friendly and easygoing. This may sound basic. But in many Wall Street firms in the 1990s, cutthroat competition and ruthlessness reigned.

Coach, researcher and consultant Steve Horan of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning says that the four most powerful words in coaching are also some of the simplest: “I believe in you.”
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has an interesting strategy for keeping weekly staff meetings positive: He requires each member of his staff to share one personal and one professional accomplishment from the previous week.
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