After Anne landed what she thought was a dream job, she quickly bonded with a charismatic co-worker, Karla. When Karla poured wine liberally at an informal dinner at her house and said, “Tell me all about you,” Anne did. Others snickered as Anne walked into the breakroom the next day. That night, when she logged on to Facebook, she saw her co-workers had posted wildly exaggerated stories about her based on what… Read More

Question: Can my employer stop me from using vacation days I’ve earned? I’ve worked for my employer for more than a year and earned seven vacation days. My parents and sister plan to visit in late September and I’d planned to take them to Homer. I put in a vacation request, but it was denied. When I asked why, I was told two other employees planned to take their leave in late… Read More

Question: I did the big NO. I slept with my boss. At first it was exciting, and then it got old, but I didn’t know how to end it. Turns out, I didn’t need to. Someone spotted us coming out of a restaurant and necking in the parking lot afterward. She took the story to Human Resources. Now my boss is gone, fired, and I’m still here. And everyone’s looking at me… Read More

Question: When my company promoted me two months ago, I was stunned but excited. My manager’s faith in me made me desire to do my very best. One of my former coworkers, “Ted,” thought he should have received the promotion, as he had a master’s degree. When I reached out to Ted to tell him I thought we’d be a good team, he rebuffed me, saying, “Your promotion’s a joke,” and “Hope… Read More

Question: I work for a subsidiary of a company headquartered in Seattle. I do a good job but fear I’ll be fired. Our office manager is a vindictive queen bee. When she’s is angry at an employee, she starts slamming doors, bad-mouthing them to other employees and finding ways to make their work lives miserable. Then, she fires them. When the last three fired employees tried to get unemployment benefits, they had… Read More

As a manager, how can I supervise employees at remote locations—particularly when I never see them? If I work remotely, how do I make sure I stay on my supervisor’s radar for promotional opportunities? Which employees thrive in virtual team situations? If you manage a virtual team If you manage employees you never meet face-to-face, you may feel disconnected from them and them from you. In the same way that radio can’t… Read More

Question:  I run a small department within a larger company. The company’s overall rules are strict, but I supervise creative types and believe in looser rules. I have six employees, five of whom love Pokemon Go. While I don’t personally play it, I think it adds value to the work day, as it gives them something they share in common. None of them play it during the work day; they do, however,… Read More

We frequently get asked:  “Do you do reference checks?” or “How do you do reference checks?” This is going to be a very short answer to what can be a complicated question. First we have to ask ourselves, what is it we are really checking?  Well, the best true indicator of future performance is past performance. So, obviously, we want to look at the potential hire’s work ethic, communication style, motivation and… Read More

Question: Every single applicant I’ve interviewed in the last 10 days claims to be a “team player” and “motivated by challenge.” I’m often surprised by how individuals who say they’re team players in interviews act divisively once hired and how those who say they want challenge complain when they actually face challenge. How do I find which of these applicants actually are team players and ready to be challenged? Answer: Ask questions… Read More

Question: I manage a small company. Two of my key employees, both women, don’t play well with others — particularly each other. Although their departments need to work together, neither makes it easy for their employees to work with those in the other’s department. Both undercut each other in meetings. Neither asks for help from each other when it would save her time or offers help even when she sees it’s needed…. Read More

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