October 2011

Oct 31 2011

Encourage Some Fun In Your Workplace Today!

This has been a pretty challenging year for employee morale across most businesses, but today being Halloween gives you as a manager the perfect excuse to inject a little fun into your workplace. Researchers from California State University Long Beach determined that people who have fun at work are more creative, more productive, work better with others, and call in sick less often.

Many people think of Halloween as just an event for children to extort candy from their neighbors in exchange for avoiding "tricks" often involving eggs, soap suds and toilet paper (not necessarily in that order). However, there is no rule preventing adults from a little childish fun. Since the economy has been less than robust, here are some low cost ideas for some Halloween fun in your workplace...

Oct 27 2011

The Problem with Stacked Rankings

For the uninitiated, stacked ranking is the process where managers are forced to rank their employees from best to worst. In most large corporations, like my former employer, you are required to stack rank all the employees at least once a year.  At best, stacked ranking forces a manager to view performance on a relative basis. At worse, it’s used as an arbitrary and biased tool for corporate layoffs. I resented having to stack rank my team. Here’s why....

Oct 25 2011

Management Advice For The Control Freak

Probably the biggest obstacle to success in the workplace is the control freak manager. In order to be a successful manager, you cannot have your hands on everything that comes through your department or business.  There are so many reasons why that strategy is doomed to fail, I don't have room to list them, but here are some of the biggest and what you need to do about it...

Oct 21 2011

How to Motivate your Team

“People do work for money – but they work even more for meaning in their lives. In fact, they work to have fun. " - Jeffrey Pfeffer, "Six Dangerous Myths About Pay," Harvard Business Review

There are countless studies and theories on what motivates people. One of the more widely known and accepted is Herzberg's Two Factor Theory, which concluded that like Jeffrey Pfeffer, money does not motivate people to performance. Finding out what does motivate your employees is one of the hardest and most important responsibilities you have as a manager. Here is what I learned over the years:

Oct 19 2011

5 Keys to Managing Up

For the first several years of my career, I never even knew what it meant to manage up. Focusing on results, coaching, and leading my team occupied all of my time and were the only things I really cared about it. But it was very frustrating watching peers with less success and less experience get promoted ahead of me. Clearly, they had learned the fine art of managing up way before me, but better late than never.

These 5 keys to managing up successfully are based as much on what I did wrong as ...


Oct 16 2011

How To Use 360 Feedback Well

I have a love/hate relationship with 360-feedback. There are times when it really does the job and improves work performance, but often it is just a waste of time. What is the difference, you ask? Here's my perspective:


Oct 13 2011

Five Things To Do After You Hire

You've done the tough part of combing through thousands of resumes and interviewing hundreds of people. Or maybe it just felt like that. Don't declare victory just yet, you have a few more things to do: