Question: “After a recent promotion, I have two former peers reporting to me. Supervising them has been very challenging. ‘Terry’ frequently comes into my office to gossip, and ‘Ellen’ refuses to recognize me as her boss … If I constantly remind them that I am now the manager, I’ll look like I’m full of myself. How do I handle this?”
When you’re promoted to a position where you must manage former peers—or current friends—it’s only natural to want them to like you. But at the same time, as a manager, you need to demonstrate fairness. Earn the respect of the team and build trust with these tips:

8 morale boosters to try now

February 5, 2010 Categorized in: RecognitionSupervising

Workplace budgets remain tight, yet recession-weary employees are more in need of morale boosters than ever. Now’s the time to use a little creativity to reward workers. Here are a few ideas from Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, whose advice appears on a Harvard Business Review blog:
Ask a person if he likes criticism, and he’ll probably say no. Most of us would prefer constant praise. But most of us also want to know that people take our work seriously. We crave feedback that is thoughtful and thought-provoking. The trick is learning how to give and receive meaningful feedback. Here’s how:

Turn employees into heroes

September 3, 2009 Categorized in: RecognitionSupervising

It sounds like a nearly impossible challenge: employee appreciation on a lean budget? Try making employees heroes: heroes in their own eyes, heroes in the eyes of their peers and heroes in the eyes of their families. Here’s how:

Spur excitement with employee awards

September 3, 2009 Categorized in: RecognitionSupervising

Benefits consultant Ken Stahlmann spells out three keys to creating crowd-pleasing employee-recognition awards:

5 steps to making an online tutorial

August 7, 2009 Categorized in: InternetSupervising

You need to show Tom how you pull together monthly data, and one of the newly hired assistants needs coaching on some online tools. Here’s an easy way to accomplish both: Screencast-o-Matic lets you create a video from your screen (your “screencast”) and upload it to share.
Your 26-year-old co-worker doesn’t want to wait until her annual review to find out how she’s doing at work. She wants to know now. Gen Y employees want more feedback, more often, than previous generations. They’ll seek it from their immediate boss, as well as others. If you’re not comfortable with or accustomed to offering feedback, heed these tips:

Create and share ‘aha’ moments

April 2, 2009 Categorized in: SupervisingTeamwork

If you’re a manager, spawn more golden nugget moments for your team by creating informal learning opportunities: mentoring, on-the-job training, brainstorming and good, old-fashioned trial-and-error. Encourage employees to tap into blogs, discussion forums and wikis.

Some ill advice for managers

March 6, 2009 Categorized in: Supervising

Employees are coming into work sick more often than managers realize, according to a recent OfficeTeam survey. Unfortunately, people make more mistakes when they come to work feeling ill. Some tips for managers and team leaders:

Dial down the stress meter

December 31, 2008 Categorized in: SupervisingTime Management

If you manage other assistants, you may be craving higher productivity from your team. If you’re a savvy people manager, though, you don’t want to saddle your strong performers with an extra layer of stress. Consider these three approaches.
As U.S. companies struggle to weather the recession, many are cutting back employee hours. In fact, part-timers now make up 5% of the workforce. Using part-timers may make economic sense, but it can give supervisors fits. Here are five ways to get the most out of part-time workers.
It’s a deceptively simple concept: You have to pay nonexempt employees for every hour they work. But employers often trip over interpretation of that law when it comes to exceptions such as meal and rest breaks. Here’s a plain-English explanation of a sometimes tricky situation. PLUS! Find out what workers are really doing on their coffee breaks!