The Savvy Manager

Employees undermining your authority? Tips to fix it

November 12, 2014
It’s the worst feeling a boss can get: No one takes you seriously. Your employees are running the show and getting away with, well, whatever they want. What’s next? You either fix it or you won’t be a boss much longer. Here are several tactics you can adapt to help you re-establish yourself as the one in charge.

Before hiring, you should solve this 5-second seek-a-word …

October 27, 2014
Seek-An-Employee: Which attribute do you have trouble finding?

12 common phrases that turn a boss into a jerk

October 16, 2014
You’re human. You’re entitled to say some obnoxious things now and then. But keep in mind your employees absorb and weigh your words, and they’ll give you a pass on those annoying expressions for only so long. Spew these dozen phrases at your peril:

The Seven Dwarfs are alive and well in your workplace

September 26, 2014

When you think about it, your employees can be broken down into seven personality types. Which brings to mind Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Look around those cubicles. Though not as cute and cuddly as forest gnomes, each one of your employees embodies a dwarf type.

How “Employee of the Month” recognition can backfire

September 16, 2014

Employees need to be recognized if you want them to stay motivated. So an “Employee of the Month” program seems to make sense. You’ll choose monthly heroes, give them a gift card, a designated prime parking spot, and frame their portraits on the lobby wall for all to admire. These are the pistons of your company’s engine. Not so fast. If this thing’s not done right, it can stymie employees’ efforts, drag down morale and incite jealously, suspicion and hard feelings.

5 surefire ways to torpedo morale

August 28, 2014

Most managers are keenly aware of what keeps employees engaged and happy: flexible schedules, praise and recognition, a relaxed work atmosphere, etc. But just as there are things that you can do to keep the morale high, there are probably things that you are unwittingly doing that drag it down. Here are five surefire ways to demoralize the troops.

To sleep, perchance to sue

August 14, 2014

They snooze, you lose—if you wake them up. Just recently, the City of Los Angeles agreed to cough up $26 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by garbage truck drivers who said they were illegally banned from using their lunch breaks to catch up on some Z’s. Like sheep hurdling a fence, nearly 1,100 of the city’s sanitation workers joined in on the litigation, according to a Los Angeles Times report. And had the city not settled, the damages could have hit an eye-opening $40 million, a councilman said.

Employee negativity: 3 main causes and only 2 can be cured

August 1, 2014

Employees begin new jobs with a bounce in their steps, thankful that you gave them a chance and eager to please. Hey, it’s a fresh start. But somewhere along the line, something made them change. The pilot light went off, and with it, their passion and productivity.

Tattoo you? Not at Starbucks

July 21, 2014

For most employers, a job candidate sporting a small visible tattoo would not be a deal-breaker. After all, 36% of U.S. adults ages 18-25 have at least one tattoo, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The ink is a bit heavier on the U.S. population ages 26-40, where 40% have at least one tattoo. Tattoos, visible or not, are trendy and aren’t raising the eyebrows the way they once did. Employees who wear them—proudly displayed or deep under clothing—are no less productive, engaged, reliable, friendly, honest or intelligent as those who don’t. However, not all employers are fond of them.

Of vets, muffins and company policies

June 30, 2014

What good is a company policy if you don’t follow it? Of course, your organization crafts and adopts policies that must be followed by all. These policies aren’t vague; they’re clear and calculated and for good reason: If you don’t have them or don’t enforce them, chaos reigns. Here’s a better question. What good are policies if you do follow them, but by doing so, cause more damage than if you make some exceptions here and there?