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JobDig Career Advice

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Newest Managing Articles

The Winds of Change Usually Kick Up Some Dust

By Joan Lloyd

I've always loved the fairy tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes." It's such a wonderful metaphor for situations in life in which one person sees things one way and another person doesn't see it at all. Take the example of organizational change. What one person can visualize, another can't. And that's where resistance comes in. "Resistance" is a word we use to describe what a person is doing if they d...

Tips For Smoothing The transition of New Co-workers

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: I appreciated an article you wrote in which you cover hints for new employees. I would be very interested in a column covering this situation from the perspectives of the other parties as well; the current employees and the manager. A particular problem I encounter as a manager of technical employees is finding a way to help new employees bring ideas from their former position into thei...

New and Improved Performance Review Methods

By Sarah Landrum

The yearly performance review can be a stressful time for everyone. Employees don’t like to hear them and bosses don’t like to prepare them. They’re difficult to do, time consuming and don’t really allow both parties to walk away feeling like something good was accomplished. In some cases, it can be demoralizing and hurt the employee’s work performance instead of bols...

How to Encourage Peer Partnership During Change

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: I have recently been promoted to a fairly senior position in a large company. I’m wondering if you can give me any tips for developing good working relationships with my new peers. They are all experienced, strong leaders who run major parts of our business. I am in more of a support role. I have a new function and my staff will interface with their people and make changes in thei...

Are Your Leaders Still Practicing Command And Control?

By Ron Thomas

“They used to say in the industry: location, location, location. I say people, people, people; you invest in stores, you invest in events, but investment in people is the most important.” That strong statement is from Sidney Toledano, the CEO of Dior, speaking in a recent interview in the Financial Times. Sometimes, as we read articles or books, there are certain words or statements th...

How do I manage an employee who has lied to me?

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: I have a new hire that, just days short of reaching his six-month probation period, lied to me three times in one conversation. While verifying progress on a pilot program that was his sole responsibility, I asked three project-specific questions. There was no chance of miscommunication because the questions were: Did you do step 1 and how did it go? “Yes, easy process.” Wer...

Take advantage of summer months to boost morale

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: I work for a small business as a supervisor. We have 75 employees who are very dedicated and we work hard all year. A few of us were talking recently about how hard it is to concentrate during the summer months. We live in Michigan and when summer comes, it's hard to come to work when it's so nice outside. We were trying to think of some things that we could do that would be fun t...

Peer Accountability: Policing Yourselves So the Boss Doesn’t Have To

By Laura Stack

Have you ever attended a meeting as a guest but couldn’t tell who the leader was, because multiple people asked their teammates tough questions? I’ve been to a few where if I hadn’t already known the leader, I wouldn’t have been able to guess. Those meetings were attended by high-performing teams where peer accountability was firmly entrenched. Everyone expected the best of...

7 Must-Have Qualities of the Best Project Managers

By Alexandra Levit

The best of the best project managers are part people-master and part data-head. Over at the American Management Association, Tom Kendrick, author of 101 Project Management Problems and How to Solve Them, asked readers how to assess if they have what it takes to be successful project managers (PMs). What qualities do the best PMs most frequently display? Extroverted The best project managers ar...

Today's Manager is a Just-in-Time Coach

By Joan Lloyd

Managers have been getting a lot of attention lately. They've been the subject of hundreds of books on leadership, teamwork, empowerment and excellence. They've been struggling to find their place in the new order of things. It hasn't been easy. In years past, when a manager said, "Jump!" employees said, "How high?" Today, when a manager says, "Jump!" employees say, "Why?" because they want to und...

Methods of Motivation: Adding Team Incentives to the Mix

By Laura Stack

One of the eternal quests of the modern business leader is the search for the Holy Grail of worker motivation—as if there’s just one secret, one formula or recipe, that will instantly and permanently push a team’s productivity through the roof. It’s a nice fantasy, but you quickly learn that nothing works for everyone. Fortunately, most people respond well to intrinsic rewa...

Promises for the Future: 5 Ways to Set Goals as a Team

By Laura Stack

Team wide goal setting is crucial if you expect to maximize and maintain your productivity. Your team members must always be clear about what your goals are, and how you’ll get there; that should be a given. But realize that some of your team members will have a better understanding of goal-setting than others, so it’s up to you to make sure they all stay on the same wavelength. Star...

Quick Group Decision-Making: A Brief Guide

By Laura Stack

One of the hobgoblins of teamwork is groupthink. This occurs when a team rubber stamps the decisions of the team leader or a particularly strong personality without debate. Groupthink destroys creativity and innovation, and it often occurs because people have learned that fighting for something isn’t worth the effort. If they get punished for even trying, or no one listens to them anyway, th...

Disruptive Behavior Should Not Be Tolerated in the Workplace

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan, I wanted to comment on a column you wrote recently about a regional director who was bright and competent but would have unchecked temper tantrums and screaming fits. There seems to be two mindsets concerning employees of this man's nature. Mindset #1: "Yes, he's a jerk, but he brings in over a million a year in revenue." We have this situation in the company I work for. Never mind that...

Building a Brand By Building a Culture of Positive Reinforcement

By Ron Thomas

“All their training is based on positive reinforcement. We keep fish throughout the area and as part of our training routine, we reinforce and reward with a fish. This is how we train them to master a maneuver.” This comment was from the trainer that trains the sea lions at SeaWorld. I’m a big fan of certain channels such as Animal Planet, Discovery and my all time favorite, Nati...

Don't Let Empathy Stop You From Taking Disciplinary Action

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: I am an office manager in a medium-sized company. Prior to this promotion one year ago, I worked with the women I now supervise. After my promotion, I had my share of resentment and jealousy from these women. They have gotten much better and I finally can say I'm beginning to enjoy supervision. My problem centers around one woman who was out on a maternity leave and who is now back. Sh...

Flextime Causing Issues When Manager Takes Hands-Off Approach

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan:We have flextime at my place of employment. You may choose to begin work any time (in half-hour increments) between 7:00 am and 9:00 am, with the core hours being 9:00 to 3:30. The problem that we are confronted with is the underwriting manager has elected to work the 8:00 to 4:30 shift. It has been brought to his attention that there are people abusing the flextime (we don't punch...

What Really Matters: Check Your To-Do List for 2016!

By Laura Stack

As we enter 2016, I’d like to pose a question to anyone reading this who feels a bit overwhelmed: how will youregaincontrolof your time? I’ve spent most of my career providing answers to that question, in terms of time management, self-discipline, setting personal boundaries, intelligent use of new technology, flexibility, speed, and more. The answers are many and mu...

Respectful Creativity: Encouraging Different Viewpoints on Your Team

By Laura Stack

Effective teams are most often led by leaders who expect innovation and therefore encourage diverse viewpoints.This is no secret, despite the fact that—as cynics will surely point out—we rarely practice the concept adequately. However, we also let pettiness, bureaucracy, groupthink, disengagement, laziness, and other failings hinder our creativity and slow us down. Business as usual ru...

Avoid These Common Performance Review Mistakes

By Joan Lloyd

For many managers, the end of the year means performance review time. A performance review discussion can leave the employee feeling motivated and appreciated, but if it is poorly handled it will do just the opposite, and it will damage the relationship. Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid them: Mistake: Only focusing on the last few months or on a specific incident. Solution: Keep an e...

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