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The Savvy Office Manager

The Savvy Office Manager

Cal Butera is the editor of Business Management Daily’s Office Manager Today, Manager’s Legal Bulletin, Managing People at Work and Communication Briefings newsletters. He has been with Business Management Daily since 2007 and worked 22 years for midsize daily newspapers as sports writer, news reporter, layout and design editor, copy editor and city editor.

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Here are scenarios which most—if not all—managers will encounter in the course of their careers. How do you score on the effectiveness scale?
Here is a list of words and phrases that all too often are stuffed into the job ad for no other reason then, well, it wouldn’t be a job ad without them. Maybe it’s time to retire these terms, in the name of making the job sound a little more desirable and a little less trite.
Here are some actions you can take (or not take) that would be surefire C-suite pleasers.

Two months into his once-promising career, Bam! The new hire's co-workers are grumbling to you about his ineptness, his work is shoddy and often turned in late. And his attitude is about as appealing as the forgotten lunches in the break room fridge. What happened? There are only two things, and you only have control over one of them.

Here’s what I learned from the game and its trimmings that I can put to use in my quest to be a better leader.

Yes, there’s an error in the headline. Glad you spotted it. If you didn’t, that’s OK too. Quite often your errors—whether they are typos (sloppy typing like entering “manger” instead of “manager”) or just your subpar grasp of grammar—are glazed over by your readers. The human brain when reading fast will sometimes “fix” the error, […]

Does your company allow its employees to bring their kids to work? There are only three options for this issue.

Does your workplace suffer from a lack of celebrations? I don’t mean the quick-hit birthday gatherings where a little cake and camaraderie are shared. Or holiday parties that include high-calorie food, low-quality dancing and let’s-get-it-over-with awards and speeches. I mean the impromptu show of jubilation by the fully engaged employee who just closed a sale […]
When you step into management, you begin operating under certain tenets of human behavior in a societal cluster known as the workplace. The people in that workplace—your employees—are wired differently, but are all there for somewhat common reasons: to make money, get along as best as possible and remain on the payroll. Which should mean there are certain truths or tricks of the trade to keep them all humming. Not so fast. Here are several myths of management and the realities behind them.

It’s the ultimate punch in the manager’s gut because it’s taken as a direct affront to the boss’s authority. You’ve been challenged. Undermined. Dissed. Ouch!

Perhaps you’re lulled into thinking that you, the manager, in loco parentis, need to step up and deliver accolades and the unconditional hugs to your millennials. Not so fast. Here are the three trophies millennials do need.
The following is a short Christmas play. Written in five staves, the play teaches a “what comes around … goes around” lesson to a wayward boss who discovers the true meaning of Christmas one strange, magical night. With apologies to Charles Dickens …
Underperformers really come in only three varieties, and most of them can be repaired, but more easily, prevented from becoming one in the first place.

Employees do the darnedest things to impress you. Most times, they do real work. Other times it’s feigned. The trick is to know the difference. Hey, it’s competitive out on that office floor, and workers are looking for promotions and raises, and trying to avoid more work dumped on them. Here are several tactics workers tell me they use to make their bosses and their co-workers believe they’re packed with Evereadys.

What good is a company policy if you don’t follow it? Of course, your organization crafts and adopts policies that must be followed by all. These policies aren’t vague; they’re clear and calculated and for good reason: If you don’t have them or don’t enforce them, chaos reigns. Here’s a better question. What good are policies if you do follow them, but by doing so, cause more damage than if you make some exceptions here and there?

A simple note to bosses: Treat employees right. Your workers want honesty and integrity from you. They expect fairness. They want to trust and be trusted by you. They want to respect you, but they want it in return. They also need you to be dependable. Those concepts can build a solid workplace foundation, but as one supervisor learned recently, they’re so fragile.

“Vacation? Take all you need. We don’t count the days. Just make sure your work is done or someone else has it covered.” Here is the good, the bad and the ugly of an unlimited vacation policy

Advances in technology make your work easier, and your organization scrambles to stay current. You know the advantages: You can attract tech-savvy job candidates, retain top performers who rely on cutting-edge tools and you can get work done more efficiently. But have you taken a look around your office to see some of the stuff you need to update or get rid of? … Or maybe you shouldn’t ditch some things just yet.

Question: What stifles your employees’ ingenuity? Answer: Probably you. Look around. You got a decent staff. They’re getting their stuff done to your liking. In fact, you've got a few workers with enough entrepreneurial juice to keep the organization competitive.

In case you haven’t been listening, your office is saying a lot about you to your employees, clients and customers. Yeah, it’s just a boss cave, you say—the place where you spend more time than any other—and you’ll doll it up or neglect it as you see fit. But with a glance, everyone can glean what you’re all about. Let’s take a look at some of the stuff that’s going on in your den, the tales they’re telling, and what you can do to fix it.

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