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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Justifying More Staff: Avoid These 9 Mistakes

Increasing headcount

  One of our most popular articles here at MRH discusses a basic strategy that we’ve used to justify an increase in staff.  And it’s no surprise: based on our research, 50% of managers say the biggest challenge they face is the size of their staff.  We’ve said it many times, but will mention it again.  Between salaries, benefits, insurance and other

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A Sample RFP Response Format (w/ Commentary)

sample RFP template

  A little while back we posted an article about writing a reply to an RFP (Request for Proposal), which provided a basic outline for responding to potential clients.  Since then, we have received a lot of questions from the MRH community asking for details on formats to use as well as what sort of sections and content to include.  So, we wanted

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3 Ways To Plan Resource Levels

ways to plan your staff

3 Resource Planning Methods to Help Predict Staffing Needs Most businesses and organizations go through an annual headcount planning process for the upcoming year.  We all know that such activities are important to running a productive organization.  And yet, while resource management is critical, doing it well and doing it right is easier said than done. There are a number of methods

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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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16 Tips for New Project Managers

Dealing with Challenging Projects

When I became a project manager, the first thing I did was print out a bunch of documents, the Statement of Work, some spreadsheets with basic financial information and put it all in a well-organized 3-ring binder.  Beyond that, I didn’t know what I was doing.  So I just got down to work.  That was 20 years ago and since that time, I’ve learned a

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10 Signs You’re a Bad Boss

horribe boss characteristics

Horrible Bosses … in Real Life If you’ve ever seen the movie Horrible Bosses, you probably reacted the way most of us did: some of the amazingly inappropriate behavior in the film registered a little close to home.  We’ve all had some sort of run in with a really bad boss in our career, and while the movie makes a

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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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7 Ways to Reduce Cost in Your Business

cutting cost business

  As all business leaders know, when a company becomes strained and pressed for cash, we need to look for ways to reduce our costs and expenses.  While cost control is always important, we naturally spend more during periods of growth to support the increasing size and momentum of the organization.  The challenge comes when growth slows and we need to figure

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How to Develop a New Process

Sample Process Map and Spaghetti Diagram

The 7 Rules of Process Development and Implementation   You’ve got a great product, friendly customer service, happy customers and cash.  What’s missing?  An often forgotten ingredient to a well-run business is the development and implementation of processes that serve as the backbone for a company.  Developing effective processes makes your internal activities repeatable and consistent.  And the more stable your operation, the more

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When An Employee Quits: What to Say, What to Do

Letting go employees

Humility.  It’s the emotion you’ll feel the first time one of your employees resigns.  You’ll likely ask yourself a few pointed questions:  Did I do something wrong?  Can I convince them to change their mind?  Are they just using this as leverage to get something they want? All good questions.  When an employee gives their notice that they will be leaving,

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How to Build A New Team from Scratch

how to build a successful team

7 Steps to Building a Successful Team: People, Purpose, Performance   The opportunity doesn’t come often for us, but getting the chance to build a brand new team from scratch is one of the most enjoyable experiences a manager will ever have.  After all, building a successful organization requires planning, creativity, execution and oversight…all at once.  For me, the first such

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How to Justify Hiring Specialists: Questions for a Sample Business Case

business case to hire a more expensive employee

Any manager who has hired new employees has dealt with challenges related to cost.  Why else do recruiters ask for a candidates salary as part of the initial screening process?  What they’re really asking is “can I afford you?”  I actually had one hiring manager tell me “This guy is making more than I do, we could never afford him.”  But when it comes

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Managing a Layoff – Part 4

Letting go employees

A Detailed Account of Downsizing a Team By One Manager at a Fortune 500 EDITOR’S NOTE: The following comments chronicle a layoff event that occurred at a Fortune 500 Company, as recorded by a manager in the organization. This is the second part in a 3-part series. Click HERE for Part 1, HERE for Part 2 or HERE for Part 3.  Key details

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Managing a Layoff – Part 3

Letting go employees

A Detailed Account of Downsizing a Team By One Manager at a Fortune 500 EDITOR’S NOTE: The following comments chronicle a layoff event that occurred at a Fortune 500 Company, as recorded by a manager in the organization. This is the second part in a 3-part series. Click HERE for Part 1, and HERE for Part 2.  Key details are omitted to

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Management Best Practices: 14 Things That Only the BEST Leaders Do

managing and leading

    It goes without saying that managing a team and leading people comes with a lot of responsibility.  And while many managers are successful and have great careers, there are other managers who simply knock it out of the park.  They get results, meet their budget and seemingly don’t break a sweat in doing so.  Is it effortless?  Absolutely not. 

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8 of My Favorite Interview Questions

managers resource handbook

The Art of Interviewing Job Candidates One of the most difficult and important decisions you will make as a manager of people is selecting who to hire, and planning how to staff your team.  Such decisions should not be taken likely – you are responsible for the getting results, and hiring the wrong people is tremendously disruptive and costly to

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What Keeps You Here?

interview questions

Awkward Question; Inspiring Answers   We were working around the clock in response to a major product recall.  My team was exhausted.  Our customers were furious.  We had been at it for months.  Even though it was December, many of us knew we would have to work through the Christmas holidays to dig ourselves out of the situation.  To make matters

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How to Manage Your Own Boss

managing your boss

Congratulations!  You have a New Employee! …And it Just Happens to Be Your Boss.   The idea of it sounds ludicrous.  You have a large staff, countless projects and relentless customers to take care of throughout your day.  And then you realize you have to add one more load on top of it: managing your own boss.  Sad but true,

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8 Ways to Reduce and Avoid Office Tension

managers resource handbook

Remember when your Project Manager came in the conference room last month, his forehead pulsating, as if he were just itching for a fight of any kind?  We’ve all had those people in our office, reminding us of the great scene from Monty Python – “The Argument Clinic.” Maybe there is pressure from higher up to get results, or perhaps it

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