Workplace Wisdom

18 Sep 2018

What to Do When You Realize You Made a Bad Hire

This article originally appeared on hbr.org. Sometimes it happens that a candidate who had the right credentials, seemed to fly through the interview process, and had lovely references turns out to be an unexpected problem after hiring. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, consider yourself lucky, because only 19% of new hires are considered fully successful, according to a frequently cited study, and by the 18-month point 46% are deemed failures. If you’ve been in this situation, you’ve had to […]

12 Sep 2018

4 Mistakes to Avoid When You Have to Deliver Bad News

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. One of the most important jobs of leaders is to tell people what’s going on, even when the news is bad. Leaders must be able to address everything from an individual performance issue to the denial of budget for new personnel or other resources, the loss of a client or project, even an existential threat to the business, such as a tariff or regulatory change. The first time as a young manager that I fired […]

04 Sep 2018

How to Support Employees When They Need Help

“Am I feeling too much empathy for my staff’s problems?” a client asked me the other day. Coincidentally, another client had asked a similar question just a day earlier. Both clients worried that they were letting their feelings about team members’ personal concerns eclipse their managerial responsibility to require accountability and performance. In one case, the supervisor recognized that an employee’s caring for an aging parent was both necessary and important even though it was creating scheduling conflicts and distractions; […]

21 Aug 2018

How to Tell Your Team That Organizational Change Is Coming

This article originally appeared on hbr.org. From time to time, every leader has to deliver news that is hard for employees to hear. Even when businesses are doing well, organizational and structural change is to be expected, and acquisitions, reorganizations, or policy changes can affect people’s jobs in ways that create feelings of fear, anger, or sorrow. Each employee wonders, “How will this change affect me?” or assumes, “Oh, this won’t be good! How am I going to get my work […]

14 Aug 2018

How to Handle Colleagues Who Respond to the Leader and Ignore You

Have you ever worked with someone who seemed like a heat-seeking missile when it came to power, authority, and status? Whether they’re frontline service reps or senior vice presidents, these individuals turn toward their bosses the way flowers turn toward the sun — cultivating that relationship over all others, always trying to derive some tangible benefit from their personal connection with the leader. Leaders can get attached to these employees because they’re usually very reliable within their particular sphere of […]

07 Aug 2018

How to Plan for Succession When There’s No One to Succeed You

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Many articles and books have been written about succession planning and how important it is for company longevity and shareholder protection. But most of the advice focuses on the selection of and transition between CEOs and assumes things like a fully functional board and a fairly robust organizational structure. In many privately owned and operated businesses, though, it’s tough just to predict what will happen next quarter, let alone years into the future, and when you’re the CEO, there may […]

31 Jul 2018

Why You Need to Be Able to Make Your Case to a Variety of Audiences

Very few decision-makers operate completely independently — even CEOs usually have to answer to a board. So unless you’re a sole owner, or a sole employee, you need to appeal to many different audiences to get support for your initiatives, as well as people’s participation or compliance. In fact, even if you — and perhaps your team — know exactly what you want to accomplish and why, you won’t get far without organizational buy-in. If you don’t deal with them […]

24 Jul 2018

Want to Be Successful? Make More Teams of Two

Unless you’re the sole decision-maker, you need employee support for your decisions. Even leaders must rely on networks and coalitions, along with informal ways to collaborate, coordinate, and share. Yet at the same time, at every level and in every kind of job, more and more people in the workplace are feeling detached, not cared about, or not recognized for who they really are. Everyone does better when they feel that they matter and that they’re noticed — and the […]

17 Jul 2018

Are You Hiring the Best Candidate for the Job or the One You Like the Most?

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. There’s no perfect test (yet) to discern who will be the best possible hire. Even after preparing thorough job descriptions and formal assessments covering everything from personality to hand-eye-coordination, it’s a challenge to sort through the way people present themselves in interviews and in their resumes. During the screening and interviewing process, employers can be distracted by multiple kinds of bias and their own personal taste and preferences. It’s also easy to fall into […]

10 Jul 2018

Focus on Tasks, Not Emotions, to Save Money on Conflict

“Conflict costs businesses a ton of money,” management guru Steve Caldwell observed while interviewing me recently. Caldwell is a team leadership coach, the author of Manager Mojo: Be the Leader that Others Want to Follow, and the creator of the podcast Manager Mojo, where he highlights commonsense solutions to management and leadership issues. These lightly edited excerpts from our conversation create a through-line from the reasons for conflict to tips for reducing the disruption and expense that conflict causes. How […]

 

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