6 Great Coaching Conversations to Guide Your Employees’s Careers

career counseling

Helping Employees Make Career Choices As managers, our job is to get results, plan resources, and develop our employees.  In terms of effective employee development, the time we take to coach our staff members is critical to helping each one become a growing force within the organization.  Further, sometimes, we need to mentor them on more than just the day-to-day skills

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Deciding Who To Layoff: Ask Yourself These 10 Questions

downsizing staff

What to Consider When Downsizing Your Team It might be the most delicate and sensitive topic that you as a manager will face in your career: selecting the names of those people to let go or make redundant.  The context here is reducing the size of the organization to maintain profitability, or improve efficiency, not firing someone due to misconduct.  From

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How to Ensure a Remote Employee is Actually Working

remote worker actually working

Working Hard or Hardly Working?   It’s a question we all ask ourselves.  Telecommuting is no longer a “new” thing.  For many companies, large and small, more and more employees work from home, either occasionally, or on a regular basis.  All you need is an internet connection.  But supervising these remote employees presents challenges to you as a manager because, well,

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What is a Skills Matrix And How Do I Create One?

5 Things You Need to Do to Create Your Own Skills Matrix Imagine: a critical assignment comes in, and you need to figure out who to give it to in order to get it done.  You only have one shot to get it right in order to secure that new contract.  Who do you give it to?  Who is the most capable? 

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How to Develop Your Employees

How to develop staff

29 Fantastic Ways to Mentor and Develop Your Employees   If there is one thing that sets apart the great managers from the rest of the crowd, it would be their ability to continuously develop employees and to grow the capability of their teams.  Unlike managers who simply focus on results, the leaders who place deliberate emphasis on employee development build morale and

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The SMART Goal Concept: Effectively Managing Performance

Examples of SMART Goals

  Writing SMART Goals (With Examples)   A colleague once told me “I have a goal in life…I want to climb Mt. Everest, someday.”  While he was absolutely serious in his demeanor and spoke at length about why he wanted to do it, the short conversation revealed he had never done any climbing before.  Further, he had hardly done research into what it actually

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How to Manage Your Poor Performers

employee performance issues

If there is one thing that every manager has in common, it’s that we’ve all dealt with employee performance issues.  Everyone of us has a Susan, who always does everything right and never seems to make a mistake.  And then, we all have a Michael, who never seems to get it or who never seems to be able to get

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Motivating Employees: Saying the Right Thing at the Right Time

motivating staff in performance review

5 Free Ways to Motivate Your Staff in Challenging Times Motivating employees is not easy. When times are tough, motivating your staff becomes even harder. For the past two years, our business has been undergoing a significant amount of corporate restructuring, downsizing, and changes in management, all of which have understandably left my employees concerned about the future.  And because of the

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Work From Home Employees: A Manager’s Dilemma

Managing remote employees

Should I Let Employees Work From Home?   Compared to just 15 years ago, the widespread availability of Wi-Fi, tablets, video conferences and smart phones have made the world our office.  Many jobs no longer require employees to be housed within the same four walls since they can connect virtually, just as if they were sitting at a desk in a high-rise

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Giving Effective Feedback to Employees: Do’s and Don’ts

Writing Performance Appraisals

The Dos and Don’ts of Employee Performance Appraisals To my friends, I described it as ‘an out of body experience.’ It was in reference to the annual performance review given to me by my boss a few years back, which left me dazed and confused.  The reason being quite simple: he was ill-prepared, could not give any specific examples of how I did, and the

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Succession Planning in Business, the Smart Way

succession planning template

7 Steps to Organizational Preservation   Though it is far more common than we would like to admit, our businesses and organizations are filled with what I like to call “single persons of failure,” or SPOF.  In my company, for example, we have a department manager who is nearing retirement in the next 18 months, yet we have no one identified as

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How to Manage Your Friend

managing friends

How to Be a Boss and a Friend A former mentor of mine once told me that there are two highly uncomfortable relationships one encounters in his or her management career. The first of these relationships was the one you have when your former boss ends up working for you. That is, the person from whom you once took your

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How to Justify a Promotion for Your Employee

How to be a better manager

And How to Evaluate When It’s Time Have you ever promoted someone? I recently went through the process of promoting an employee at my firm, and the experience raised a number of questions for me because I found there to be no formal process to issue a promotion. And if we as a managers struggle to know how to do

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How to Justify A Need for Training

managers resource handbook

Is Your Training Plan Being Cut Year After Year?  Read On… It’s a battle out there, folks.  Between a fragile economy, steep competition, and the rising costs of business, its understandable that the first form of cost cutting comes in what is known as discretionary spend.  If you think you’re the only manager whose budget for training and employee development is routinely cut,

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The 70, 20, 10 Rule for Employee Development

promoted to manager

Promoting Skill Development of Your Human Resources Employee development is a hot topic in today’s human resource and executive management circles.  Companies are investing more and more time and energy into building organizational strength through the capabilities of their employees.  It’s been said for some time that a company’s greatest asset is its people.  And now, firms have finally woken up

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How to Manage Your Goals and Metrics

Managing metrics

The Key to Hitting Business Metrics:  Reduce the Impossible to the Possible   Every year, companies and businesses establish their annual goals and performance targets.  At some point in time, responsibility for achieving those objectives is placed into the hands of managers and individual teams, often with minimal direction.  It’s the inevitable “go do this” behavior that we see from many

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How to Write An Employee Performance Review

Employee Performance Reviews

Writing Employee Performance Reviews Doesn’t Need to Be a Drag   Writing performance reviews of your employees can be extremely aggravating.  As managers, we are busy.  We correct behavior we don’t like when we see it, so taking precious time away from customers and emails can seem like a waste of our time.  But performance appraisals are actually one of the

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5 Things you MUST Do to Start the Year Right

managers resource handbook

Using a Kick Off to Bring in a New Year with Your Team   Welcome to a New Year! The beginning of a new year marks a great time to set the next 12 month off on the right foot.  For many of us, a new year serves as the time when we recalibrate expectations of ourselves and our employees.  Between

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The Importance of Asking Questions to Coach Employees

managers resource handbook

              EDITOR’S NOTE: Be sure to down our 8-page Coaching Through Questions Guideline and Managers Coaching Worksheet template from the Tools and Templates page! As managers, one of our primary responsibilities is to mentor and coach employees. Granted, a lot of mentoring and coaching takes place in short spurts by the water cooler, or

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Depth Vs. Breadth: How to Choose Development Assignments for Employees

managers resource handbook

    Developing employees is one of the most important aspects of managing people. Employee development can be directly linked to succession planning, team performance, and employee engagement and retention. Choosing the right assignments for employee growth is therefore critical to your management success. I often like to think about an employee’s development needs in terms of depth and breadth.

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