Ask “Z”

Make working from home work for everyone

May 14, 2020
Q: Before the coronavirus hit, our company had less than half of its employees working remotely. Now everyone is working off-site and many people have been struggling with it. What are your thoughts on a strategy to make this work for all involved?

She’s great! When should I tell her?

April 9, 2020
Q. One of my workers is a high-potential employee whom I am seriously considering grooming for a VP job. My question is, should I inform her now, or wait until she proves herself a bit more? If I tell her now then I probably owe it to her; if I wait, I’m liable to lose her to another employer. Your thoughts?

Haters gonna hate, askers gonna ask

January 15, 2020
Q. Lately, many of my employees have been asking me what I think are inconvenient questions. This is causing me to fire back with a snide remark, rather than a constructive answer. What can I do?

If you can’t say something nice …

January 9, 2020
Q. I’ve been watching my boss botch move after move for a few years now, and it’s tough not to get swept up in the talk at work about his errors. I’d like to play devil’s advocate, but what argument can I make in defense of such a poor leader?

Open office, open mutiny

August 8, 2019
Q. Two months ago our office switched to an open office plan, which was partly my idea. And guess what? Everyone pretty much hates it. How do I salvage this situation when reverting back to the old way would shine so much light on my bad decision?

’I’m sorry! I’m so so sorry!’

May 9, 2019
Q. I blurted something a little hurtful to a colleague recently; it wasn’t an offensive statement so much as sharing a secret I should not have. I apologized but it obviously didn’t take. What should I do now?

Best flop ever!

February 10, 2019
Q. What business failure was the most educational for you?

It’s a conference, not a vacation

January 10, 2019
Q. Our company is liberal with sending its people to various conferences around the country. They all come back seemingly rejuvenated and flush with new ideas. Some of it is useful; most of it is not. What can I do to ensure that these costly training trips don’t turn into junkets?

Benign dictatorship? It’s a gamble

October 21, 2018
Q. I find that my people respond powerfully to assertive, one-sided authority. But is this model dead? Am I a dinosaur?

Surveys will continue until morale improves

June 14, 2018
Q. We’re thinking of surveying our entire workforce specifically about their morale. Do you think that’s a good move, or might it come across as weak?