Personnel & HR

02

Feb'17

Cutthroat Management Style

Many business owners think that a cutthroat pressure-cooker management style works.  Turn up the heat and things will cook.  Be ruthless with people and only the best will survive. It’s almost a cliche — put on the pressure and you’ll get results.  Does it really work? High pressure organizations may think their approach works, but it has consequences.  The stress results in higher healthcare costs, more workplace accidents, and a revolving door with employees. Who can be loyal to a company that treats its employees like automatons, throws out the “bottom” 10 % each year, and creates internal conflict and strife as a management approach? Studies have shown that cutthroat organizations are actually less productive.  They have less employee loyalty and higher turnover. It negatively affects workforce health, sucking the life out of people. What exactly is a cutthroat organization?  What things characterize that management style?  As in most things, there’s a spectrum, from mild to extreme.  Most  cutthroat environments have these ten characteristics: 1. They overwork people. Bring on those 50 hour workweeks! Create artificial deadlines and pile on the tasks.  Be sure to put high priority on  all tasks, and as a kicker, when one project is only half done, …

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02

Feb'17

How To Deal with Bullying At Work

Question:  I work for a small business and the manager is a total jerk, a bully in full form.  His management approach is pressure cooker.  It’s not uncommon to see him blow up at an employee, berating them for a minor problem.  He relishes firing people in front of other workers.  He assigns impossible tasks with unreachable deadlines and explodes when things aren’t up to his expectations. What do I do?   Response:  My sense of it is that the culture of an organization is established by one or two key opinion leaders. It may be a small group, where the leadership dynamics have descended into a desperate competition of egos and will to succeed.   The first step is to understand the dynamics of what is really happening. To do this, a person has to be able to step back and evaluate what’s going on and why. This is often much harder than it seems. Next, you are going to have to identify who are the opinion leaders. Where is the power, and who is pushing the “mean” button. Where is the pressure coming from, and why?   Then, you’ve got to have a turtle shell. The flow of …

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26

Jan'17

Employee or Independent Contractor

Question:  A gig I had last year was assumed to be under the table. The company now (Jan.) requested my tax info. What percent will I owe and is this legal? “Assumed to be under the table?” Under the table is illegal, and if you know it. What you have proved is that there is no honor amongst thieves. The company had a “come to reality” session with its accountant, and now they are trying to make it all pretty. So, what can you do? Precious little, other than provide the information to them. However, instead of sending them a W-9 form, which they probably requested, I would send them a W-4 form, all nicely filled in. Why? Well, if we are going to make pretty, let’s do it the right way. The chances are you technically should have been engaged as an employee, not an independent contractor. W-4’s are for employees. Be sure you keep a copy of the form. Now, they will probably send you a 1099 anyway. So what you do is file a form SS-8, and ask the IRS, was I an employee or an independent contractor? Chances are pretty good IRS will say “Employee!” This …

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14

Jul'16

How do Companies Discipline Employees?

Companies have many different ways of “disciplining” employees. First off, there is the reprimand. Second stage is the warning. Third stage is out the door you go.

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01

Jul'16

Motivating Employees

Question: What is more important for the development of a company; competitiveness among colleagues or unity of the staff?

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