Management Skills

Improve internal customer service

July 1, 2004
Almost every organization, regardless of industry, views excellence in customer service as essential to its success. Those customers may not be outsiders: “internal customer service” has become just as important to managers and team leaders.

When a little bagel perk becomes a big problem

July 1, 2004
“Bagels!?!” you feel like shouting, to no one in particular. “My team is blowing it over bagels?” Yes, indeed …

‘What does that telecommuter do all day?’

June 1, 2004
“Where are those slides for the Veblen proposal?” “I think they’re on Martin’s desk.” Everything in your office seems to end up on Martin’s desk, because Martin’s never at his desk. He’s been telecommuting for six months — but most of the time, you’re not sure where he is.

Dig out from under the paper avalanche

June 1, 2004
In the wink of an eye, team leaders can find themselves buried under an avalanche of reports, printouts and publications — and be uninformed at the same time. Here are a few tips that can keep you safe and sound:

Manager’s Checkup: Learn what employees really think

June 1, 2004
There’s a lot we can learn from our employees, and the best way is often simply to ask them. To make sure you get the information you need, however, you need to ask questions that give employees a chance to tell you what they really think — as opposed to what they think you want to hear.

When a worker looks for a last hurrah

May 1, 2004
Jack wants one more promotion— to group leader—before he retires.You sympathize with Jack’s desire, but you just don’t think he’s cut out for management …

Manager’s Checkup: How diplomatic are you?

April 1, 2004
Diplomacy is a quality that can help front-line managers be more effective — and get ahead. How diplomatic are you? Take this quiz and find out:

What technology training does your staff need?

April 1, 2004
You want to squeeze the most value from your technology training dollars. But short of gazing into a crystal ball, you aren’t quite sure how to predict your future training needs. Try this step-by-step approach to identify the best areas to invest your training dollars.

Manager’s Checkup: Test your on-the-job ethics

March 1, 2004
In both large and small ways, we expect our teams to behave ethically. That’s the easy part; the hard part is knowing how to respond to the many ethical questions and challenges we face.

‘If the boss doesn’t do it, why should we?’

March 1, 2004
Your boss worked his way up through the ranks, and one of the perks he enjoys the most is not having to clock in each day. But his habitual lateness is causing you a headache — because he expects you to enforce attendance rules rigorously with your people …