Workplace Wisdom

02 Jun 2015

Three Ways to Deal with Employee Downtime

Sometimes a small question is actually about a bigger issue. This was the case when a faithful reader’s recent question got me thinking in two different directions: What could she do about an employee who goes on Facebook during the workday? My reader is a senior executive in a business that’s small enough for her to notice such “bad behavior” herself. I asked her if she ever went on Facebook when she was having lunch, and, learning that she did, […]

21 Apr 2015

Why Interviews Alone Won’t Ensure Good Fit

Clients and other business people often ask me for interview questions that will reveal which candidates are most likely to succeed in a particular job. But there’s no standard set of questions, because it’s all about the fit. And only someone inside the organization can know what that needs to be. For instance, will this be a standardized job where the work norms are already well established, or one where the employee has the license and standing to shape the […]

22 Jul 2014

What If Your Service Is Two Chairs and a Napkin Short?

A few weeks ago, we attended a gala event, and a series of service bobbles reminded me again that even when service people are perfectly nice, the service itself can still be inadequate. How much does a customer’s response to service result from the service person’s lack of judgment, discretion, training, procedure, or supervision? And how much of it is caused by the interaction itself? Table Hopping Table 9 was supposed to seat only 10 people, but was set for […]


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