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

Question: Our newest accounting employee works in a cubicle with the accounting manager and one other employee. To create a sense of space for each of them, we’ve set up the office so each desk faces a wall. A door bisects the fourth wall and that’s where we’ve placed the accounting office’s filing cabinets. Yesterday the accounting manager came to me and asked if the new employee could share an office with… Read More

Question: I’ve been told to never to fire an employee on Friday, but always thought that was the best day to do it, so they could have the weekend to get over it before looking for a new job on Monday. Answer: Few “get over” being fired in two days. It’s a major blow. Instead, they have two whole days to consider what an “unfair idiot” their former boss was, how wronged… Read More

Question: Before she speaks concerning work I’ve presented in staff meetings, a passive-aggressive co-worker invariably prefaces her comments with “I don’t want to be mean, but” and then gives her opinion. Although I rarely agree with her, I’m comfortable with any criticism she dishes out as it’s her viewpoint. The problem I have is that she gives her comments with so many pauses and hesitation that she leaves the feeling that she… Read More

Question: I run a fast-growing venture development company and depend on a team of hard-charging managers who develop new business opportunities. All are hard-headed type-A personalities. They regularly travel together on business in teams of two, three and four. When traveling, they go out to dinner together and continue business discussions. Recently, there’s been tension on the team. One manager, although married, meets women and brings them to dinners. This complicates talking… Read More

When leaders ask, “How can I get Millennials and Gen Z motivated?” my first question is always, “What motivators are you using now?” Most often managers are using old school motivation and retention methods that worked for Baby Boomers or Gen X.  It should be no surprise then that 21 percent of Millennials left their jobs in the past year. Gen Y & Z are motivated by money, but not in the… Read More