4 problem-solving tactics employees will love you for

One of the biggest productivity-killers managers face every day is interruptions. And one of the most frequent interruptions is … employees with questions. A Cal/Irvine study estimated that managers get interrupted four times an hour by staff, mostly to answer questions. It's a common problem-solving scenario that plays out like this: Employee has an issue and asks the boss for … [Read more...]

6 dumb ways to kill employee morale

Smart managers spend time practicing techniques to improve employee morale. And that’s hard work. But many more managers do things that kill morale. Or more accurately, they FAIL to do things and that ends up killing morale. Here are the six dumb mistakes managers often make that kill morale. No. 1 is the failure to set clear expectations. Most people want to do well in a job. As long as … [Read more...]

The 10, nah, 4 things employees want more than a raise

Good managers are vigilant about what employees need - because it really is about making them better. Now, consider this headline from a very good web site: Ten things employees want more than a raise … Hmmm, I thought. Ten? It's hard to believe there are 10 things employees want more than a raise. I think most employees would put getting a raise right at or near the top of any list of … [Read more...]

The real reason good communication is so hard to come by

People are busy, so I’ll try to make this point quickly and clearly: Good communication is a two-way street. Sometimes it is a three-way street, and sometimes four  … or even ten. But at a minimum, it's just like the tango. It takes two. At its most basic, a message goes out and it must be received and understood by the other person for it to be an effective communication. And in that … [Read more...]

The one downside of your open-door policy

Rules of thumb are great, but they are not absolute truths in all situations. For instance, it’s a rule of thumb that great managers have an open-door policy. Another rule of thumb is successful organizations solve problems close to where the problem occurred. In other words, if you have a waste basket burning in your parking lot, you don’t summon your marketing team. Makes complete … [Read more...]

40-hour work week ain’t what it used to be

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not doing your job. If a recent Gallup Poll is correct, you are probably pulling your own load, and then some. The poll, released the Friday before Labor Day, showed the 40-hour work week is a thing of the past. The average time worked by full-time employees has ticked up to 46.7 hours a week, or nearly a full extra eight-hour day. Just 40 percent … [Read more...]

Why 2 in 5 employees leave vacation time on the table

We love time off! So why don’t we take all our vacation time? Because American workers are too scared to go on vacation. About 40 percent of us don't plan on using all of our paid time off this year, according to a new survey released by the U.S. Travel Association and GfK, a market research firm. The survey polled 1,303 workers, including 235 senior business leaders. The two most … [Read more...]

Why employees quit … it really isn’t pay

It’s always been a good piece of advice for managers to remember that compensation is usually NOT the biggest reason why employees quit on you. After all, people know what they'll be paid when they sign on. So what does take the top spot? No Opportunity The No. 1 reason employees leave a  job is a lack of opportunity for advancement. More than one in five employees (22%) polled by … [Read more...]

Can’t we do away with rush hour, once and for all!!

We don’t often wade into legal workplace disputes, but this one seems like an outrageous employee complaint. Or is it? What's your take? A Lancaster, PA, company is being sued by a former employee who wanted to be able to drive into work late and leave early -- so she could avoid rush hour. Instead the woman says her boss retaliated against her and then fired her illegally. Andrea … [Read more...]

4 employee bonus programs that work wonders

Employee bonus programs have regained their luster, and if you don't offer any, you might reconsider. A survey by WorldatWork  found that the popularity of employee bonus programs, which had been steadily falling, is now at an all-time high. The four most popular incentives are sign-on bonuses, spot bonuses, referral bonuses and retention bonuses. "The uptick in sign-on and retention … [Read more...]