being the boss

how big a deal is employee lateness?

A reader writes: I manage an exempt employee who is frequently late: 15-20 minutes late at least once a week. He has a long commute that can be unpredictable when it comes to traffic, but after a year working here I don’t consider traffic a valid excuse. When I mentioned the lateness, he said in […]

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my new hire went AWOL on her first day

A reader writes: I recently offered a job to someone who accepted and set up a start date. When the person was due to come in for her first day, about a half hour before her shift, I got an apologetic email about a medical emergency (ankle sprain), but she did not specify if she […]

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my employee accused me of favoring her coworker

A reader writes: I recently expanded my team from one direct report to two. “Tammy,” my original staffer, is proficient but not great and can get confused by complicated projects. “Carrie,” the new hire, is still learning but is a superstar. She picks up on nuances of projects that Tammy misses, even though Tammy has […]

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is it bad for managers to sound frustrated or impatient?

A reader writes: I am relatively new to management and I have a question about a specific incident, which raises the issue of whether a good boss should ever show impatience. One of my direct reports, Jane, does a good job. I’ve given her a lot of (genuinely well-deserved) praise in public and private, and […]

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