being the boss

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

my employee keeps joking about getting fired

A reader writes: One of my top executives has been regularly joking about being replaced in her position within the company. As the owner, I asked her why she was doing this, questioning if it stemmed from a place of insecurity or from unhappiness in her position. She said insecurity — that she was not […]

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my employee delivered a status update … in song

I’m off today. This was originally published in 2015. A reader writes: I am a newly promoted manager and am stumped on how to handle something bizarre that happened in a meeting today, primarily because my sense of humor is getting in the way. I asked one of my employees to explain the progress he’s […]

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I feel terrible performance-managing an octogenarian

A reader writes: I have a long-time employee who I’ll call Joe. I’ve been his line manager for the last five years or so. Before my time, Joe expressed a desire to wind down to retirement. The organization supported that with a part-time arrangement which went on for several years — well past Joe hitting […]

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what to say to employees who ask, “am I in trouble?”

A reader asks: I manage a team where, due to the nature of our work, I need to give our employees frequent informal feedback. We employ a young workforce; the bulk of our employees are 18-26 years old. Often when I approach these employees, they start the conversation off with, “Am I in trouble?” This […]

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our remote staff want the same perks we give in-office staff

A reader writes: I work for a company that has both in-office employees and work-from-home employees. When we plan events in the office such as chair massages and catered lunches, we offer work-from-home employees the opportunity to work in the office and participate in whatever event we are having, though they rarely come in for […]

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