How to Give Constructive Feedback

One of the toughest parts of a manager’s job is giving employees constructive feedback. But it’s also one of the most important superpowers managers must improve.

Without good feedback, workers won’t grow. Whether it’s positive or negative, employees need to know where they stand. For our purposes, we’ll use the example of a superhero who has excelled at giving feedback: Charles “Professor X” Xavier, the founder and leader of the X-Men.

For years, Professor X has run a private school that trains mutants and turns them into superheroes like you. It’s not an easy job – he just makes it look easy. Here are four tips to give better feedback like the leader of the X-Men: [Read more…]

6 Personality Types Your Office Doesn’t Need

Even with superpowers, you’re not going to get along with everyone.

Certain people just rub others the wrong way. And unfortunately, in a work environment, this can make for an unproductive team. So it’s a good idea to use those superhuman abilities to weed out the weaklings and troublemakers.

Your office is your S.H.I.E.L.D., so channel your inner Nick Fury to determine who’s worthy of your organization.

You can do yourself a lot of favors during recruitment by knowing what personality types to avoid. [Read more…]

Spot the Bad Guys: 6 Signs It’s Time to Let an Employee Go

Superheroes in comic books and movies have it made: It’s easy to tell the good guys apart from the bad guys. Hint: The bad guys are usually the ones laughing maniacally in poorly-lit lairs.

Managers, on the other hand, have a tougher job. It’s not always easy to spot the villains and goons lurking in your department. Many of them have gotten good at blending in with the rest of the crowd – so good, in fact, that some of them may even be managers!

The good news: Every bad guy has a tell – and you don’t need X-ray vision to spot them. Here are six signs you’ve got a villain-in-the-making on your hands who needs to be let go. [Read more…]

3 Secrets to Choosing Your Battles Wisely

Batman has the Joker. Spiderman has the Green Goblin. Superman has Lex Luthor.

Just because you’re a hero doesn’t mean you have to get along with everybody.

Conflicts happen. These superheroes had their nemeses, and, as the hero of your workplace, you probably have yours.

Whether it’s a difference of opinion, conflicting personalities, or even a flat-out argument, people don’t agree all the time – especially when there are multiple people clamoring for leadership, eager to prove themselves. (If a group was meant to have more than one leader, Professor X and Magneto probably would’ve gotten along a whole lot better!) [Read more…]

When to tell whiners ‘enough is enough’

Whiner from another department is driving good employees nuts

For some folks, whining is the national pastime.

It makes no difference how well things are going, they always have a gripe.

Obviously, whiners can poison the well. But even in a place where employees generally ignore the whiner, it can still disrupt productivity.

That’s the situation manager Susan Baker found herself in when a whiner was driving one of her good employees to distraction. [Read more…]

Employee badmouths company online: What do we do?

The Scenario

HR director Stu Capper had just gotten out of his car Monday morning when supervisor Eric Cottrell yelled his name.

Eric ran across the parking lot. “I need to talk to you,” he told Stu. “I got a problem I’ve never run into before.”

“Better follow me to the office,” said Stu. [Read more…]

How to deal with a backstabbing employee

Employee smiles to your face, then trashes you behind your back

No matter how good morale is, there are always some employees with negative attitudes.

The worst may be those who offer sweet smiles to your face – and then badmouth you or the company to other employees.

It can tarnish a manager’s image, undermine his or her authority and crush morale.

That’s the situation manager Katie Adams faced when she heard a worker badmouthed her to others. [Read more…]

Good Worker; Toxic Employee: What to do?

One toxic employee can crush the morale of a whole staff

Toxic employees negatively impact morale and productivity more than you may think.

Every day their behavior wears you – and your employees – down just a little bit more.

Their nitpicking, controlling and self-centered behavior ultimately can send stress levels soaring, says recent research.

And the problem is widespread. More than 87% of employees say they’ve worked with toxic employees at one time or another. [Read more…]

When you’re under the thumb of a micromanager

Is there a way to manage the boss and get things back on track?

As managers, it’s important to keep a firm hand on things.

But some managers grip so tightly they create bottlenecks that choke the operations.

Not only does a micromanager hurt productivity, they also stifle their staffs’ development. [Read more…]

When one bad attitude chips away at morale

Will negative employee unravel ‘can-do’ work culture?

Teamwork is a critical component of successful organizations.

A culture where folks willingly jump in to help each other and do their part makes for terrific morale.

But one sourpuss can undermine a team and derail productivity and morale. [Read more…]