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Memos to Managers

The ‘Great Boss’ checklist: How do you rate?

03/23/2012
Great bosses aren’t born, they’re made. Becoming a great boss requires honest self-analysis and periodic reassessments. The following check­­list was designed to guide you in that analysis. Use it to take stock of your people skills. Be honest with yourself.

Interviewing: The 10 most common manager mistakes

02/27/2012

Conducting job interviews requires managers to strike a tricky balance between politeness and assertive evaluation. One wrong word or action can drive an applicant away—or even trigger a lawsuit. Warn managers to avoid these top 10 mistakes when interviewing job candidates.

Team dysfunction: Why it happens and how to fix it

01/27/2012

Managers can bring the most intelligent, creative people to their departments, but if the employees aren’t able to work as a team, the department’s productivity will suffer. If your team isn’t firing on all cylinders, it’s important to identify the reasons why … and what you can do to overcome the dysfunction.

How to become a great manager, the Google way

01/23/2012
Google, the king of search engines, recently set out on a search of its own—to identify the qualities that make the highest quality managers at Google Inc., and then to replicate those qualities across the entire company. The end result: a simple, yet ele­gant, list of eight management practices that the best Google managers consistently do.

Use performance logs to simplify employee reviews

01/10/2012
It happens to every manager: You sit down to prepare a staff member’s review and realize you can remember only what the person has done the past few weeks. Or you allow only a single incident (good or bad) to color your assessment. If you’re relying solely on your memory to evaluate employee performance, you’re […]

How to manage employees who are grieving

12/29/2011
When an employee experiences the death of a family member or close friend, it’s tempting for supervisors to take a hands-off approach to the em­­ployee’s grief. However, silently waiting for the em­­ployee’s emotional recovery isn’t the best strategy. Take the following four steps to sensitively manage grieving employees and their impact on co-workers.

The art of giving negative feedback: A 7-step approach

10/28/2011
Giving feedback is an important management task but certainly not an easy one—especially when the feedback isn’t all sunshine. Fortunately, it’s a skill that can be learned.

Interview questions: What’s legal, what’s not?

09/26/2011

Conducting job interviews is one of the most legally dangerous tasks performed by managers. One misguided question could cause an applicant to think he or she was re­­­­jected due to one of the federally pr­o­­tected categories. Take this hiring quiz to see if you know which questions are legal and which are not:  

How to manage ‘super-qualified’ employees

08/31/2011
With unemployment still running above 9% nationally, many people are taking jobs that are lateral—or even downward—moves in their careers. As a result, many managers are supervising employees who have far more experience than the job requires. Use the following guidelines to effec­tively manage overqualified workers and lengthen their stay:

‘Can we talk?’: How to handle requests for secrecy

08/01/2011

Say one of your employees stops by your office with a troubled look on her face. She has a complaint, but wants to speak with you “off the record.” Can you comply with her request for confidentiality? Should you? It all depends on the content and context of the complaint.