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Memos to Managers

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.

The art of giving positive feedback: 7 simple tips

06/28/2011

Giving feedback is an important legal and practical management task—and certainly not an easy one. Many managers make the mistake of dishing out feedback only when employees do something wrong. But praise can also be an effective motivational tool, if used correctly. Here are seven guidelines to follow:

Top 7 reasons why the wrong people get hired

06/01/2011
Nobody ever sets out to make a bad hire. But it happens, even to the best hiring managers. From managers’ inadequate preparation to misguided hiring criteria to misreading applicants’ credentials, here are the seven biggest reasons for hiring decisions that bomb.

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: