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Memos to Managers

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.

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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Understanding federal laws on employee discrimination

04/28/2009
Last year, U.S. employees filed a record number of legal complaints claiming they suffered discrimination at work. You know that U.S. anti-discrimination laws require managers to treat all applicants and employees equally. But what, specifically, do the laws require of supervisors and managers? Here’s a rundown: AGE. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act says you […]

8 rules for recognizing and rewarding employees

03/26/2009
Surveys of U.S. workers consistently show that employees want more than a paycheck from their jobs—they want to feel safe, secure and appreciated at work. Good recognition and rewards provide employees with three things: A fair return for their efforts. Motivation to maintain and improve their performance. A clarification of what behaviors and outcomes the […]

Avoiding employee lawsuits: 5 lessons from the court

01/27/2009
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