Tips for Managers

Dig for the bad news — and motivate

January 27, 2021
We’ll bet you’ve experienced this scenario before: An employee reports that a difficult task has gone well, but you know that he or she has been worried about it nonetheless. Hand out praise and congratulations for doing the job, but also ask a few questions to uncover the difficulties the worker has encountered.

Ditch these negative words when coaching

January 27, 2021
Words matter when you’re coaching an employee. As you coach employees and teams, avoid these counterproductive words and phrases.

Hmmm, that doesn’t sound right

January 27, 2021
Suppose you find yourself on the receiving end of feedback that’s, well, questionable. After all, under-pressure employees have been known to deliver information that’s wrong, hard to understand, and occasionally purposefully untrue. If what you’re hearing is suspicious, these tactics may help.

A positive approach to discipline

January 27, 2021
Discipline is an unpleasant fact of life for managers (and employees). It’s worse if you treat it as punishment. Instead of reprimands and warnings, try this approach.

Put the ‘good’ in ‘goodbye’

January 27, 2021
Replacing employees who resign is expensive, so make each departure useful through an effective exit interview. Look again at your exit interview process and consider these late-breaking ideas for improving it.

2 questions for ‘stay’ interviews

January 27, 2021
“Stay” interviews are a good tool for promoting employee retention, but their success rides on asking the right questions. These two can help you hold a productive conversation.

Craft an effective warning letter

January 27, 2021
Except in extremely rare circumstances, managers shouldn’t fire employees without going through a disciplinary process that documents the problem and affords the employee a chance to improve. A warning letter to the employee is usually a key element of that process.

Before rejecting an idea, ask 2 questions

January 13, 2021
Let’s say an employee presents an interesting idea for changing a departmental procedure, but your first impression is that it won’t work. Hold off slamming the door on the idea. Instead, take a few minutes or schedule some time later to investigate the idea with its originator—you may end up with an idea you can use.

Keep everyone informed: 3 tips

January 13, 2021
Communication can be the key to your organization’s growth, but you have to manage it carefully. Here are three quick suggestions for helping information flow smoothly.

Three is not company

December 23, 2020
Imagine that you’re in your office talking with one of your staffers. Another employee sticks his head in and asks you to answer a “quick” question. You do, but your quick answer turns into a new discussion. As a result, the original employee has been what journalist Leigh Buchanan calls “triangulated.”