being the boss

All your questions about being the boss, answered — like dealing with low performers, lateness, weird feedback, and more.

my employee keeps falling asleep in meetings

A reader writes: I have noticed that one employee tends to doze off at our weekly departmental meeting. I don’t believe she has any medical condition that would cause this, and I don’t see her dozing off at other times. But I’ve noticed the dozing off many times during these weekly meetings (usually held after […]

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my employee can’t accept that his work is bad

A reader writes: I’ve put a staff member on to a formal performance improvement plan, but despite me providing feedback and taking multiple approaches to get through to him, he doesn’t seem to be able to grasp just how poorly he is doing. I want him to succeed and have supported many conversations, participation in […]

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my employee is bad at taking feedback

A reader writes: I have a new employee who’s very organized and ambitious and generally competent, but she is terrible at receiving feedback. After reading your column for a while, I’ve tried to incorporate your advice. I’ll say things like “I’ve noticed you’ve been doing this X way, but we actually do it Y way […]

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what kind of leave policy should a small business offer?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I’ve only ever worked at small businesses with less than 25 people. During my time as a manager, and now as a small company owner (consulting/professional services type firms), I have struggled to come up with fair policies on things like PTO and family leave that […]

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should I hire family members for my new business?

A reader writes: I run a popular website and have decided to expand my business by getting office space and taking on two employees. I have never managed anyone in my career, so I know this is going to be a challenge. I am looking to hire someone in a digital marketing role, full-time, and […]

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is my employee lying about needing sick time?

A reader writes: I just took over job duties for a departing manager and inherited a new employee. He does a generally good job, although I have had some concerns about his work ethic (that’s a different story entirely that I plan to address). This employee is a huge sports fan, and his favorite team […]

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