Frontline Supervisor: Dealing With Employees’ Personal Problems

Q. When employees with performance issues mention their personal problems, I feel obligated to participate in these discussions. It may sound cold, but I want to rid myself of this feeling and, like other supervisors, focus only on work issues.

Frontline Supervisor: Employee Morale and Motivation

Q. I have many employees and I must ensure that they stay motivated. I know employees have to motivate themselves and that I can't do it for them. So what is my role in the process? How do I play an influential part in motivating employees.

Frontline Supervisor: Becoming a Better Manager

Q. My boss said that I need to be a more supportive supervisor. He couldn't give examples except to say "your team has to feel you support them." What can I do?

Frontline Supervisor: Employees with Parenting Issues

Q. My employee is frequently late to work. I've not made a referral to BJC EAP because the problem is plain and obvious. The employee is a single parent trying to get three small children off to school in the morning. I feel like a heel writing the employee up, but should I?

Frontline Supervisor: Stress and the Workplace

Q. Is there more stress now than 25 or 30 years ago? I don't think employees cope with stress as well as past generations did. Is this true?

Frontline Supervisor: Performance Appraisals

Q. Can you provide some tips that will help me be more positive and effective in evaluating my employees' performance this year? What are some trouble spots that supervisors must be careful to avoid?

Frontline Supervisor: Taking Disciplinary Action

Q. I disciplined an employee with a three-day suspension and immediately had several employees confront me. They insisted on knowing all the particulars, but I said it was inappropriate to discuss it. They were very angry at me. Did I do the right thing?

Frontline Supervisor: Bullying in the Workplace

Q. What are the most common bullying behaviors in the workplace? I would like to know what they are so I am more likely to spot them or believe employees when the come to me with complaints.

Frontline Supervisor: High-Conflict Employees

Q. Employees in conflict can be very disruptive to the work group. I have no problem making a referral to BJC EAP, but supervisors should attempt to resolve conflicts first. The question is how early to step in, right? Also, does a “formula” exist for doing it right?

Frontline Supervisor: Dealing with Employees’ Personal Problems

Q. In supervisor training, we are strongly warned not to ask employees personal questions or discuss employees’ personal problems. I find this a difficult task because it makes me appear cold. Can you discuss this a little more?