Managing Your Manager

Someday, I’m going to write a paper on techniques for people to “Manage Up” – that is, how to manage your manager. It’s just as important as your ability to manage your subordinates.

A Cardinal Rule of Managing Your Manager is: tell your boss when you screw up!

Firing For Fun & Profit?

Why is it that the first resort of employers in trouble is to fire their employees?

Termination should always be your last resort – always ask yourself: Did I do everything I could to help this employee’s success?

And terminating employees to show a quick fix to your stockholders is – at best – unethical.

Employee Internet Access

Good news for California employers – you might not be liable when your employees use your internet access to do dumb things.

But play it safe – it’s wise to include a policy in your Employee Handbook indicating that e-mail and internet access is for business use only.

Overtime Without Permission

If an employee takes overtime without permission, you must pay him or her.

If (and you should) you have a policy in your Employee Handbook that prohibits overtime without prior approval from a supervisor, you still must pay, but now you can impose discipline for violating a company policy.

The High Maintenance Employee

Virtually every manager I’ve known (including myself) prefer the ‘low-maintenance, high-production’ employee over any other category. The toughest to managers are the ‘high-maintenance’ employees – even if they are highly productive. They sap your energy and your time.

But ignore the ‘high-maintenance’ employees at your own risk…

Leadership – You Don’t Have to be Perfect

Michael Josephson is one of my heroes. His commentaries on ethics and character – particularly as they relate to managers and leaders – are dead on.

One of the principles of managing people is to establish your personal standards of ethics and always adhere to them – even when others question you.

Pre-Employment Testing – The Don’ts

You need a really good reason to order a credit check on a candidate for employment (among them – if they handle cash, or need to be bonded). Otherwise, there generally is no good reason for doing it. There is no evidence that a person with poor credit is going to be a poor employee.
Ask yourself – what is the business justification for doing it? People are starting to fight back against this practice, and you could find yourself explaining to a judge why you declined a qualified candidate because they missed a credit card payment a few years ago.

Bad Bosses Drive Away Employees

The vast majority of employees want to make good money, have good benefits, and a positive work environment. Don’t think that – just because you have good pay and benefits – that everyone will be happy. This survey out of Florida State University shows just how many employees despise their boss (and for good reasons!)

  • 39% of employees said their supervisor failed to keep promises;
  • 37% said their supervisor failed to give credit when due;
  • 31% said their supervisor gave them the silent treatment’
  • 27% said their supervisor made negative comments about them to others;
  • 23% said their supervisors blamed others to cover up their mistakes.

Yikes. Have you conducted a 180 degree survey lately? It may be time!

Conducting Performance Appraisals

Too many managers rush through their employees annual performance review. Employees crave feedback – and not just the numbers (“You’re rated a 3-out-of-5 in ‘teamwork’). A great performance review is more than a form; it’s an interactive meeting where a candid evaluation takes place, and mutual agreement occurs on goals and strategies for the following year – on both the part of the employee and employer.

So it’s the dialogue that’s important, not just the form.

Today’s BLR Report quotes Rhoma Young’s “Mistakes in Performance Appraisal Meetings”.

She’s right on.