Articles

What’s your OOTO look like?

April 6, 2022
The sculpting of your “Out of Office” email message is part of the ritual of being away. Of course, there’s a craft to it, and some best practices. Remember these pointers.

20 questions to ask your mentor

April 6, 2022
When you get time with a mentor—or even just an interesting interview subject, or someone you professionally admire—you’ll want to make the most of it. Here are some ideas for questions to ask.

Heed NLRA rules when discouraging unions

March 31, 2022
Organized labor is on a roll, with union elections making news everywhere from Amazon warehouses to John Deere factories to Starbucks coffee houses. The trend has employers wondering what they can do to thwart union organizing activities.

Here’s your ‘5 years’ audit

March 25, 2022
It’s the interviewer’s favorite question, or the interviewee’s least favorite, or both: Where do you see yourself in five years? The five-year plan is an example of a future-oriented question that challenges applicants to look ahead. But why limit these fascinating questions to job interviews? How about turning them on yourself?

Beware 4 negotiation squeezes

March 25, 2022
When entering negotiations, you have faith you’ll be talked to honestly. But you do have to go in prepared for underhanded tactics. Here are a few of the tackiest old-school ploys negotiators may present.

How clear are your KPIs?

March 25, 2022
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are progress metrics intended to help drive business decisions. Strong businesses don’t just ask, “How are we doing overall?” They discuss and define which specific KPIs best reflect their goals most effectively. Here’s just an idea of the range of KPI tools.

Stifle your staff’s blame game

March 25, 2022
Technology leader Nickolas Means gave a talk in 2008 about the lessons we can learn from one of the great engineering disasters in history: the partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in March 1979.

Illegal harassment vs. legal (but still wrong) bullying

March 17, 2022
Nate’s mistreatment of Will in Season 2 of the hit TV show Ted Lasso is uncomfortable to watch and horrendous management. But is it illegal? The answer is no.

Managing using the ‘5 Whys’

March 11, 2022
One of the most enduring approaches to problem-solving at work is the 5 Whys. Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda developed this tool in the 1930s. The method starts with a problem, which is then deconstructed in a series of “why” questions—usually at least five.

How to compete with rising pay expectations

March 10, 2022
Target announced at the end of February that it was dramatically raising its minimum wage. Other large companies are also raising pay and benefits to compete for available talent. What does this mean for smaller organizations that can’t afford such lofty pay scales and benefits packages?