being the boss

what to do about a chronically late employee

A reader writes: Time is of the essence with our business and so we emphasize punctuality. We have a low-performing employee who is under performance review and is habitually late, as well as a few other late employees who are otherwise stellar performers. These top performers also work after hours, and the low-performing one does […]

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I just found out my great employee lied on her resume

A reader writes: We recently hired an employee for a non-professional position who told me after she was hired that she lied on her job application. She said she had her high school diploma when she doesn’t, and if she had answered that question in the positive, the online application would have booted her from […]

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how can I get my employee to stop condescending to me?

A reader writes: I am a fairly easygoing person with one major weakness: I cannot handle it when men are condescending. After years of weathering many insufferable male friends, colleagues, boyfriends, and family members, I have simply had a lifetime’s fill of being condescended to. My tolerance has reached its limit. Now, when men in […]

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should managers ask or tell when assigning work?

A reader writes: When dealing with people who work directly for me, should I ask them to do things or tell them to do things? Does telling someone to do something in a work environment come off as harsh? I always ask them to do things, but I’m starting to feel like asking them kind […]

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should I stop bringing in treats for my team?

A reader writes: I’m really hoping you can help me understand a situation that’s happening at work right now. I work at a large nonprofit supervising a team of caseworkers. The caseworker job is difficult in that the goals are high and the situations can be a bit intense because we’re dealing with people, including […]

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do I apologize to my employees too often?

A reader writes: I’m a new manager at a company where I’ve worked for years. In trying to adjust to the role, I’m realizing that I’m the sort of person who says “sorry” a lot. I’m not always doing it to take the blame on myself; I’m often doing it because to show empathy and […]

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my assistant uses eating to avoid working

A reader writes: I am a new manager at a nonprofit and have just been assigned an entry-level administrative assistant who has been failing to make deadlines, has been repeating preventable mistakes, and has major issues with focusing at work. She tangled with her last manager because she felt attacked when asked to explain missed […]

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my employee has a bad attitude

A reader writes: I manage an employee with an attitude problem. Kevin is a couple years out of college, and he has management ambitions. He did excellent work for several months after he was hired, and the quality of his work isn’t the issue here. The problems started about a year ago when I promoted […]

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my employees keep going over my head

A reader writes: I supervise a small group of people, and was told recently that they don’t like me giving reminders or asking for updates (or, possibly, they don’t like how I do that). This isn’t the first mention of it, but apparently what I’ve tried to do differently hasn’t helped. My problem is, no […]

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