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Memos to Managers

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.

Give oral reprimands that serve a purpose

06/30/2011
You already know to scold employees in private. You don’t want to embarrass them at the same time that you’re criticizing some aspect of their performance. But reprimanding in private doesn’t excuse you from speaking diplomatically.