being the boss

my employees chat too much at work

A reader writes: I have a couple of employees who are using their time and company resources during work to chat with each other, like sending lots of personal emails to one another during work hours. What is the best way to address this without alienating them? It seems to be ongoing throughout the day […]

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I feel awful about giving a bad performance review

A reader writes: I am a fairly new manager, promoted over a peer who was upset that they were not chosen for the job. This person seems to have a total lack of respect for my role. I have had to grin and bear it, and in an effort to earn her respect, I have […]

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is my employee taking advantage of the flexibility I give her?

A reader writes: In my current position (where I’ve been for two years), I’m a first-time manager of two direct reports, both of whom are salaried, not hourly, employees. One of them — who’s younger, less experienced, more eager — rarely asks to adjust her work hours or work from home, and is generally happy […]

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what to say to an intern who’s chronically late

A reader writes: I am currently managing an intern on my team. Interns at my organization are unpaid, which I do not agree with, but this does not seem to be changing any time soon. She has very poor timekeeping and is constantly late, often by a significant amount of time. The fact that the […]

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how can I tell if I’m a good manager?

A reader writes: In the last few months, I’ve gone from being an individual contributor to now managing a team of several employees. While I absolutely love my new role and feel alive doing what I do, I’m not oblivious to the fact I’m still very new at managing people and have lots of room […]

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how much socializing at work is too much?

A reader writes: I am a low level manager at an office of 35 employees and we’re fairly autonomous in managing our workload. We have flex time, people work different hours, and as long as your work is done in a timely and quality way, then management usually leaves you to your own devices. We’re […]

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my employee asked me to stop giving him feedback

A reader asks: I’m a relatively new manager and trying to do my best to tailor my style for each of my team members. This week I asked my team members what they’d like to me to do differently in our one-on-ones. I got some great feedback from most of my folks, but one has […]

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I run a business and I feel exhausted and exploited by employees

A reader writes: I currently lead a manufacturing business that I co-founded. Because a previous related business failed in the recession, we have been in the trenches, at the coal face, behind the plough — whatever metaphor you prefer — for over a decade now. The current venture turned its first profit recently, but all […]

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