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Managing employees: 10 readers’ choice articles

It’s a new year, and Insperity wants to honor its devoted readership by sharing 10 articles on employee management that business leaders have consistently found most helpful.

Not surprisingly, these articles focus on taking care of your employees.

People are the backbone of your organization. You can have a clever business strategy, a differentiated product and spiffy, new technology, but without a dedicated team, your dreams will remain dreams.

The following articles take you through the natural life cycle of an employee. What questions do you ask candidates in a job interview? How do you set them up for success and reward them when they achieve? And how do you handle conflict, poor performance and, regrettably, employee termination?

Enjoy a basic primer on many aspects of managing employees, curated by you:

1. Professional recruiters reveal 16 of the best interview questions to ask

Crafting interview questions that sift out the weak and uncover the strengths of top-tier candidates is challenging, if not downright stressful.

The goal is to enter the interview with a game plan, and leave with a sound understanding of the individual’s ability to add value to your company.

What interview questions should you ask to get the answers you need, and why?

We asked our team of recruiting experts to help you with this daunting task. Here’s the 16 interview questions that should always be asked.

2. 5 steps to creating employee development plans that truly work

A key to business success is empowering your employees to continuously learn in their role and grow with the company.

An effective employee development plan provides your staff with opportunities and clear direction on how to increase their skills and advance their careers.

In this scenario, everyone wins.

These programs should be meticulously crafted, not created off the cuff.

Follow these five steps to help ensure your employees have a robust plan to advance your business goals.

3. 52 epic ways to reward your employees

Your employees are the backbone of your business, and it’s important to reward them for the hard work and sacrifices made toward executing your business dreams.

Recognition can raise office morale and improve productivity. It also sets a precedent of positive reinforcement of the importance of a strong work ethnic and an ability to deliver results.

Sometimes a high five or a “Good job!” will suffice. But it’s best to put substance and thought behind your rewards.

Here are 52 ways you can start rewarding your employees today.

4. 9 crucial rules to remember when having difficult conversations with employees

Having difficult conversations with employees can be awkward and, well, difficult. That leads many business leaders to avoid having these important conversations. If you do, the results can be catastrophic.

Maybe an employee is underperforming or constantly arguing with others on staff. Emotion is often involved, which can add another layer of complexity to the situation. But at some point, you will be required to say something.

Try these nine tips for alleviating the situation through effective communication.

5. Everything you need to know when an employee takes a leave of absence

It’s difficult for a business to turn a profit when your employees don’t show up for work.

Research proves this. A company can lose as much as $3,600 per year from just one employee’s absenteeism.

However, it’s inevitable that an employee will need to take a leave of absence at some point during the life of your business. How can you minimize the negative effects on your business, while supporting the needs of your employees?

Learn what to do when employees request a leave of absence from work and how to navigate the various laws that govern employee leave.

6. How to stop your employees from driving each other crazy

The loud-talker. The perpetual nose-blower. The smelly-lotion user.

When you work within close proximity of others, minor irritants can become major distractions.

It’s important for your employees to be able to work through these types of issues themselves.

Teach your employees how to address their co-workers’ annoying workplace habits.

7. How to deal with employees who don’t get along

Every business deals with employees who don’t get along.

There may be a disconnect between their personalities, lifestyles, opinions or some other factor. And when this occurs, everyone is impacted.

Not only is the workplace now an unwelcoming environment, but it can lower productivity.

However, handled constructively, conflict can foster healthy competition.

Here are 10 steps to handle employee conflict.

8. 6 steps you need to take before terminating an employee for poor performance

After a few months on the job, your rockstar new hire isn’t living up to expectations. Missed deadlines are the norm. Completed assignments are subpar. The team’s productivity is starting to wane.

You must act, and you determine the best course of action is termination. But firing someone on a whim can be risky.

There are best practices to follow to administer performance-based terminations the right way.

Here’s a six-step guide to follow leading up to a termination.

9. Employee terminations: what to say to your team after firing an employee

After an employee is terminated, it can be challenging to address the remaining team. You don’t want to say too much, but you need to explain the situation. If done well, the result can be a more cohesive team.

Poor communication can lead to loss of trust, fear that other firings are imminent and the spreading of gossip.  

Instead, keep your message simple and rely on consistent policies.

10. What to tell your clients when an employee leaves

A client-facing employee’s departure from your company can be a blessing in disguise. It’s an ideal opportunity to enumerate your company’s strengths and build a closer partnership with clients.

Here are seven steps to retain and grow your accounts when an employee departs.

For more tips on how to be the best coach for your employees, download our free guide, How to develop a top-notch workforce that will accelerate your business.

How to Develop a Top-notch Workforce That Will Accelerate Your Business
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