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The manager’s question and answer book





Communication ManagementWhen should I talk to employees in person, and when should I use written documents?How can I best get my messages across?What is the importance of body language in communication?How do I say "no" to an employee request?How do I deliver really bad news?How can I respond to an angry employee?How can I encourage my employees to share their ideas or talk about problems with me?How can I counter erroneous rumors?One of my colleagues continually interrupts me. What can I do or say to end this?How can I improve my listening ability?How can I present my ideas persuasively?How can I communicate more effectively with employees in remote locations?How can I best give directions to my employees?How do I delegate tasks that I'm tempted to do myself?How can I become more effective as a negotiator?How can I become better at making presentations?How can I better manage e-mail messages I send?How can I manage the e-mail I receive?How can I improve the quality of reports I write? I do project progress reports, variance reports, and proposals.How can I improve my writing style?How can I ask questions to get the information I need to do my job?Motivational ManagementHow do I identify employees' needs to motivate them better?How are employees demotivated?What non-financial rewards and recognition can I use to motivate my employees?How can I best deliver a sincere compliment when praising employees?How can I help my high achievers to feel uniquely valuable?What can I do to motivate my average or mediocre performers?How important are the physical surroundings in motivating my employees?How can I adapt my employees' jobs to make the work itself motivating?How wise is it to use competition among employees to motivate and encourage increased productivity?How can I instill ownership to motivate employees?How do I create a culture of empowerment?How important is it for me to help employees find the work "fun"?Is there a good balance between micromanagement and a hands-off approach to motivate employees?How do I keep enthusiasm high during tough economic times?How do I keep plateaued employees motivated?How can I counteract the negativity of a few employees?How can you motivate an employee who has reached the top of her salary range and is not qualified for promotion?How can I motivate part-time workers and temps?How do you keep an employee who was passed over for a promotion motivated?How do I create an atmosphere of openness and trust in my staff?How should I respond when an employee says to me, That's not my job"?How can I encourage employees to use their initiative?How can I motivate off site employees?Conflict ManagementIs there such a thing as "good" conflict and how can I take advantage of it?How can I help employees with a personality conflict get along better?How do I go about mediating a dispute?How can I get things back on track after I have an argument with an employee?How do I prevent disagreements from escalating into violent incidents?What can I do to address conflicts with other managers within my organization?How can I resolve conflicts within my team?When I hear rumors that an employee is angry with me, how do I deal with him?When should I seek help in resolving conflicts between my employees?How do I handle my boss if she is a bully?How can I tell the difference between personality conflicts and conflicts due to misunderstandings and true work-related problems?What should 1 do if I am caught in a personality conflict?How do I cope with someone who becomes angry with me and loses his or her temper before others?Is it always wrong to express my own anger?How can I recognize my hot buttons?Meetings ManagementWhy do meetings start late, drag on forever, and fail to accomplish anything?When should I hold meetings?How do I keep control of a meeting?What are my responsibilities as group leader?As an attendee at a meeting, what can I do to make the meeting more productive?What is the best way of keeping a meeting from wandering off course?How can I keep someone from dominating a team session?How can I encourage all to participate at a meeting?What can I do to get people to meetings on time?What can I do to improve decision making at a meeting?How can I stimulate creative ideas?How can I counter groupthink?How can I work with a group to reach consensus on an issue?What can I do to get members to follow through after a meeting?How can I skip meetings to get work done without getting flack from the meeting leader?Recruitment, Hiring, Orientation, and RetentionHow can I make sure I hire the right person?How can I determine what the requirements are for the jobs I have to fill?What constitutes a well-written job description?What can I do to make help-wanted ads more effective?How do I best use Web ads to recruit people?How can I effectively prescreen candidates?What can I do to make a candidate feel more at ease?What are the benefits of working with search firms?How do I hire the best recruiting firm?How can I increase the number of prospective candidates available?What are the advantages of recruiting on the Web?What are the key employment laws related to hiring?What are the ten most common interviewing questions that could cause legal problems?What are "reasonable accommodations"?How do I legally discuss accommodations with the applicant?How can I probe for an applicant's weaknesses?What kinds of notes should I be taking during an interview and how should I use them?How can I ensure that individuals hired fit into our corporate culture?How can I conduct an effective reference check?How do I decide between two good candidates?What does it mean for an employee to be hired "at will"?What do I do if I can't hire anyone from my group of winners?How can I make a new hire's first day on the job productive?What can I do to help a new hire succeed in the job from the first day?When and how should I notify all the other applicants that the job has been filled?Given the costs of recruitment, how do I reduce turnover?How can I maximize the use of exit interviews?Performance ManagementIf I give my employees regular feedback about their work, why do I need to conduct formal evaluations?What can I do to be a better evaluator?What criteria should be used in setting performance standards?Should I include individual credibility as part of performance management?How should I phrase a goal or standard?How can I get employees to accept being evaluated?What are "stretch" goals?Are there legal implications in the performance appraisal process?What can I do to make sure my assessment is legally defensible?What should I document as part of performance management?What is the 'halo effect'?What are the most common errors managers make in performance appraisals?Why do most appraisal programs call for formal reviews during the year?How should I best approach quarterly meetings?When should I discuss money?How can I counsel a poorly performing employee?If the performance problem is due to a personal problem, how do I start talking about someone's personal life without appearing to be nosy or invading privacy?If I bring up a problem, what do I do or say if the employee becomes emotional?How do I coach an employee?Is there any best way to conduct the year-end performance appraisal interview?What do I do when an employee disagrees with something I have written on the performance appraisal? If I accept their argument, can I upgrade their assessment?How can I use the evaluation to set employee development plans for the next year?Discipline and TerminationWhat is progressive discipline?How do I conduct progressive discipline?How do I conduct an internal investigation?Can I be sued for not firing some employees?How do I counsel employees for misconduct or rule violations?What if bad job performance is due to a physical problem?Can an employee assistance program (EAP) solve performance and discipline problems?What alternatives do I have to termination?What is termination for cause?What is the best way to conduct a termination meeting?What do I do if an employee becomes very emotional, or even threatening, when I terminate her?Do I need to document the termination meeting?Why is termination sometimes a good thing for the employee being fired?What if I don't feel right about terminating an employee?What do I say to the rest of my work group about termination of an employee in the group?If I have to lay people off to save money, how do I choose which ones to let go when none are problem performers?TeambuildingWhy should I build a sense of teamwork among my staff members?What do successful work teams have in common?How do I handle a talented loner or non-team player on my team?How can pulling employees together into a team maintain productivity during tough economic times?How can I make new hires members of the team from their first day on the job?If I build a strong team, am I abdicating power or control?What are my responsibilities as team leader?Why is it important to have diversity within my team?What are the four stages of cross-functional teams?How do I choose members of a cross-functional team?How can taking my employees away from the work environment enable me to build a sense of teamwork?As a new supervisor, how do I build rapport with the informal group within the department?How can I build trust from the team?How can involvement of the team in department goal setting and planning improve the likelihood of achieving the plans?How can I engage employees in this process?If my team develops action plans that could fail, what should I do?What mistakes do managers make that undermine team productivity?What can I do to get my employees to think for themselves?Why should team members be involved in the selection process?Change ManagementHow can I measure my acceptance of change?How can I know when change is in the wind so that my department can prepare for it?How can I be a change leader?How do I get commitment to a change from my staff?I worry that I won't be able to handle objections to a change in a staff meeting. What can I do to overcome objections in that situation?What do I do if there are people on my staff adamantly opposed to the change?How can I help employees cope with change that requires new skills and practices?How can I use small improvements to build on a major shift in operations?How do I motivate my staff to see the opportunity that comes with change?How do I involve employees in change efforts without abdicating my own authority over the final decisions?I've seen change inaugurated, then things return to before the change. How can I avoid slippage back into old ways?How can I create a culture that will encourage flexibility and innovation?How can I get my team through a period of change overload?What do I do if I discover a project just won't work?Life and Career SkillsHow can I reduce stress due to work?How can I deal with workaholism?I seem to work from crisis to crisis. What am I doing wrong?How can I balance the demands of the workplace with my family obligations and personal interests?How can I minimize intrusions on my personal time?How can I ensure that I get credit for the work I do?How can I ensure that ethics and integrity aren't just values listed on a sheet of paper?Do I have to suffer from all those interruptions during the day?How can I eliminate procrastination?How do I determine what to do first?How can I better organize my workspace to maximize my productivity?How can I build networking skills?What can I do if I expect termination?What should I do to improve my relationships with my superiors?How can I make traveling less stressful?How can I start working from home?What kind of handshake makes the best impression?Would dating a colleague have a negative impact on my career?
 
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