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Memos to Managers

Documenting employee discipline: 3 cardinal rules

05/31/2011
Managers should make documentation of employee performance, behavior and discipline a regular habit. Strong documentation is especially important if an employee or ex-employee ever files a legal complaint saying his or her termination or discipline was based on illegal discrimination.

8 steps to becoming the manager your employees need

04/26/2011
In an effort to “empower” their staffs, too many managers take a completely hands-off approach, leaving employees alone unless they really need help. But this can create a rudderless ship, says management expert Bruce Tulgan. That’s not leadership! Here’s how effective managers provide genuine support to their employees.

Micromanaging: 5 signs you’re doing it; 4 ways to stop it

03/28/2011
When it comes to assigning projects, do you spend most of your time telling employees how to do the work? Or do you give them clear goals and guidelines, then get out of the way? Micromanaging is an inefficient use of a manager’s time. It signals distrust of employees and inhibits them from taking initiative. Here are key signs of micromanaging and advice on how to reduce it.

Block inadvertent bias from creeping into reviews

01/31/2011
When drafting performance reviews, every manager aims to be fair and consistent. But research shows that, too often, a concept known as “rater bias” can subtly—and inadvertently—influence a manager’s ratings. Here are the six most common types of bias to be aware of when drafting reviews or other types of feedback:

The 10 best ways managers can build employee trust

01/05/2011
Surveys consistently show that lack of trust in management is one of the main reasons employees disengage from their work and seek jobs elsewhere. Here are 10 ways managers can work to earn trust from their employees:

15 ways to unlock creativity and generate ‘light bulb’ moments

11/30/2010

Whether they express them or not, your employees constantly have creative ideas swimming in their heads. How can managers get employees in the right atmosphere to generate such ideas and put them into words? Here are 15 simple steps, according to a new book, Attention!, to help you and your employees spark creativity and produce great ideas:

9 surefire morale deflators–and how to avoid them

11/23/2010

With everything on your radar during the workday, it’s easy to forget about employee morale. But keeping the team engaged isn’t something that can be ignored or postponed. To keep morale on your radar, be aware of some of the common management mistakes that undermine it. Here are nine main deflators of employee morale, plus tips on avoiding them:

Turn negative performance reviews into a positive experience

11/01/2010
Providing negative feedback during employee performance reviews is an uncomfortable but necessary part of being a successful manager. Surveys show that employees actually value negative feedback when it’s delivered constructively. But a poor approach can cause resentment and further job disengagement. Follow these tips when giving your next review.

Empower to the people: 7 ways to help employees grow

09/27/2010

When managers create an environment that helps empower their employees, some employees will jump on the bandwagon and act empowered right away. But many of them just don’t have the confidence to risk failing or take actions without consulting a supervisor every step of the way. Here is a seven-step model for encouraging and motivating employees.

How to turn employee conflict into a positive, productive force

08/30/2010

If you manage a team that’s stuck in a rut or not working up to its full potential, it may have nothing to do with the drive and talent of the participants. They all may want to succeed and be giving 100% effort, but the results can still disappoint. The problem could be conflict—not too much, but too little.