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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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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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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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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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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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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5 Signs You Know It’s Time to Restructure

when to restructure a business

A college professor of mine once told me “There is no book on that.  Sometimes you just need to get in and figure your way out.”  Knowing when to restructure a business is one of those things.  Though there are books on organizational theory and team dynamics, there is no textbook out there telling us exactly when or how we should restructure our companies.  And neither aspect

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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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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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Managing a Layoff – Part 2

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 4-part series.  Click HERE for Part 1, and HERE for Part 3.  Key details are omitted to

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Managing a Layoff – Part 1

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 first in a 4-part series.  Key details are omitted to keep it anonymous, however the timing, details and commentary are factual. 

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New Manager Ice Breakers: 6 Awesome Ways to Connect with New Employees

Overcome the Fear of Managing Older Employees

Regardless of whether its your first management gig, or just a new team for you to lead, every manager has a their first meeting with a new team.  And while your new employees are likely to be generally cordial and kind, they’re still getting to know you, just as you’re getting to know them.  You want to get past this period

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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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How to Design an Office – 8 Tips for Managers

breadth development assignment

8 Tips for Remodeling Your Office for Managers Doing it Themselves Full Disclosure: I am not an architect, an interior designer, or a Ph.D candidate in inter-office psychological dynamics. Rather, I am just a manager of a 75+ employee department. Due to some recent restructuring in my firm, we had to remodel our office in order to accommodate additional employees

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From the Front Lines: The Lifecycle of a Crisis

Crisis Management Process

Managing Crisis in the Workplace None of us had any idea that it was the first day of what would become a 10 month, $25,000,000 investigation. It was late in the afternoon on a cool fall day when the Quality Assurance Manager and the Operations Manager came to my office with a concern over a product defect that had been

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7 Reasons Why Your Research and Development Is Falling Short

preliminary design review

Technology Development Tips for Product Managers In today’s marketplace there is ever-growing pressure on companies to remain innovative and for them to bring new products and services to customers. But in order for your research and development efforts to be successful, your objectives need to be focussed and must target your “big bets.” Moreover, a successful research and development campaign

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The 8 Most Common Mistakes We Make When Growing Our Business

mistakes managers make

And How to Avoid Them One of the best feelings we as managers and business leaders experience is seeing our businesses grow as a result of our effort and hard work. When it comes to large companies, these emotions may be result from watching a steady (or not-so-steady) increase in stock price. And that’s ok – creating value for shareholders

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