Rather than enabling our employees to innovate, our management tends to stand in their way. They would rather exert tightfisted control over employees. This makes for a work environment that isn't conducive for strategic innovation—we are unable to keep enthusiastic and talented people. How can I persuade management to drop its hierarchical approach so that employees are encouraged to initiate projects that help the company?
—Stifled, human resources officer, finance/insurance/real estate, Katmandu, NepalRead More
What are the alternatives if we scrap the annual performance review?
—Torn in HR, warehouse/ distribution, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Our company is helping to build a light-rail train line at an airport. A key objective: demonstrating on-time performance and service, even before trains are put into operation. We required our employees to clock in and out of work as a way of maintaining schedules, but the process generated complaints. Employees say we use it to snoop, and some managers have in fact used the clock time to discipline employees. How can we better manage the process and the communication?
—Uh-Oh, HR Generalist, transportation, Southeastern U.S.
How should we define employee engagement? Is it more than good morale and camaraderie?
—In Search of Meaning, senior leader, hospitality, Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamRead More
In thinking about how to help groups think better, beware of ‘groupthink'.Read More
I’m writing this blog as I sit in a cavernous auditorium with 14 other Georgia attorneys. The lawyer in front of me is doing a crossword puzzle; the lawyer to his left is scanning her Kindle Fire. Several are sending emails; one’s reading a crime novel, another, a newspaper. One is soundly asleep.
We have terrific software programmers who are technically proficient. Most show little interest in professional development beyond writing more code. How
could we get their attention?
—Cracking the Code, team leader, software/services, Andover, Massachusetts
I am a new supervisor really struggling with what seems like a simple problem. How do I suggest assertiveness training to other new managers without coming across as demeaning? I want to make it part of annual reviews, but am not sure this is the best approach.
—My Tongue Is Tied, product administrator, services, Seal Beach, California
What should we do when an otherwise strong and productive manager resists coaching?
—Behind the Scenes, health care, Charlotte, North Carolina
Imagine my delight when I found out over the holidays that my daughter was promoted into management. Like any good father, dear old Dad was more than happy to impart his years of experience from the managerial front lines.