Workplace Coach

Daily Archives: April 6, 2017

Question: I work for a recently divorced supervisor who doesn’t have a life. Every evening and all weekend long he emails me assignments. I’ve let him know my cellphone pings whenever I receive an incoming email and it’s disconcerting to get pings when I’m camping, sleeping or out with friends. He’s apologized and says it makes his life easier to send the assignments as they came up, but he doesn’t expect me… Read More

Many ask “why do organizations allow bullies and other managers to treat employees miserably?” The answer: Research documents that a bullying management style can yield short-term gains even if it does churn and burn employees. Those of us who doubt it need only to look at our favorite retailer. Tens of millions of us know Amazon as an easy way to get merchandise delivered quickly. In July, Amazon eclipsed Walmart as the… Read More

Question: I run a small business that’s barely making it. Like many other businesses, our biggest cost is payroll and we need all hands on deck. When I returned to the office from a meeting last week, everyone was huddled around one employee’s iPad. She’d downloaded and saved the Facebook video posted by the man who’d shot two former co-workers on live television. I wanted to shut this time-wasting down but everyone… Read More

Question: Others had told me “Paula” was cutthroat, but I hadn’t believed it until I became her prey of choice. I’d had my first warning when I’d walked into my office after a 10-day vacation and saw all of my carefully arranged project files disheveled. I asked the administrative assistant to tell me who’d been in my office. She told me that Paula had “needed” some material from my desk, “discovered” a… Read More

Question: My husband and I own a family business. He handles the production staff, all men, and I oversee accounting and the girls in administration. We have two sales people, both our daughters, who we jointly supervise. We’ve always told our daughters they’d inherit the business, but we wouldn’t just “give it” to them, they had to deserve it. One of our daughters, “Cassie,” works hard, but she’s not as good a… Read More

Question: My immediate supervisor works in Anchorage and I work in rural Alaska. Although I’m the lead program coordinator for our work group, I have no real power. Everything has to be signed off on by my supervisor. Although my main job is providing direct care to our clients, because I’ve been here the longest, I’m also the individual charged with ordering supplies, processing travel requests, and placing ads when we need… Read More

Question: I was laid off last week, as were two-thirds of those who worked for my former employer. These layoffs happened without notice. We all received pink slips midday Friday and were told we were paid until the end of the day. Big whoop. I worked for this man for three years. I gave him and his practice 110 percent and he told me he considered me his “right hand.” Despite this,… Read More

Question: Three weeks ago, we fired a hot-tempered employee who left cussing and shouting. Since then, several of our employees have made no secret of the fact that they’re “packing.” This makes many of our employees nervous. Other employees, however, insist that the only way to keep everyone safe is to have guns easily accessible. Unfortunately, some of these employees are also hotheads. Our employee handbook doesn’t address this issue and we… Read More

Question: My brother is ill and I’m temporarily overseeing two of his business holdings, one of which is a restaurant with a bar and liquor license. Although I promised him I wouldn’t “gut everything” he’s built up, several things going on worry me. The employees apparently think it’s OK to have a drink now and then when they’re working. Supposedly they pay for what they consume, but since we take in cash… Read More

Question: We recently advertised for a hard-to-fill position in our company. We made an offer to the top candidate prior to completing his reference checks. He accepted, and now we’re worried. Several of his references describe him as arrogant, abrasive and a superstar who believes his own press releases and doesn’t care who he ticks off. This stunned us as none of this behavior showed up in the interview. We’ve decided to… Read More