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Memos to Managers

The fine art of persuasion: How to sell ideas to your staff

06/25/2010
In the workplace and the sporting world, teams that buy into their coach’s vision have a much better chance of success. How can you get your team all working toward the same goal—your goal? Start by following these four steps to build support:

10 warning signs of low morale … and 7 ways to boost it

06/01/2010

Low morale can easily creep into a department without supervisors realizing it. But once it’s there, it’s hard to root out. Check every day to make sure people stay in tune. Here are 10 sour notes to listen for, according to the new book, Leadership When the Heat’s On:

How to write effective and legal job descriptions

05/25/2010
Job descriptions are the cornerstone of communication between managers and their employees. After all, it’s hard for supervisors to measure job effectiveness during performance reviews unless they and the employee both know what’s expected. Here’s how to do job descriptions right.

What do employees want from their managers?

05/14/2010

Inspiring leader … Quiet problem-solver … Compassionate mentor. Different employees crave different things from their managers. Unless you’re a mind reader, it’s impossible to know exactly what your staff wants from you. But a survey of 500 U.S. employees—published in the book, What People Want, by Terry Bacon—reveals what matters most to workers.

Look beyond cliches and puffery to find resume truths

04/07/2010

As unemployment continues to hover near 10%, the temptation to stretch the truth on a résumé is becoming harder for desperate job-seekers to resist. That’s why experts say job applicants are doing more “creative writing” on their résumés these days. And hiring managers need to be more vigilant. Some tips:

Having ‘the talk’: Wise words for discipline discussions

03/12/2010

Being an effective manager means confronting those “challenging” employees who, while typically good at their jobs, too often display unprofessional or downright obnoxious behavior. The best way to tackle such problems is to meet with employees right when you spot the problem behavior. Follow these guidelines, which have the side benefit of protecting the organization from employee claims that they weren’t treated fairly.

5 ways to extract great ideas from your employees

01/26/2010

Employees are often the best sources of ideas because they are closest to the daily details of the organization. But too often, employees are sitting on great cost-saving, business-generating ideas because they’ve never been specifically asked. Here are five strategies to help encourage their input.

The 5 worst interview questions & what to ask instead

01/05/2010

The interview remains a hiring manager’s most effective tool for evaluating job candidates. Unfortunately, managers too often rely on a list of standard interview questions for which most applicants have canned responses. Here are five common questions to avoid, as well as suggestions for more productive queries that will help you make the correct hiring choice:

9 strategies for unleashing employees’ creativity

08/31/2009
True or false: Employees are either creative or they’re not—creativity isn’t a skill you can teach. The answer: False. Some employees are more naturally creative than others. But managers can play a key role in creating an environment in which employees will want to look for new ideas.

How to cope with a seriously ill employee: 4 steps

06/01/2009
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