This article will help you build a culture of mutual support where all employees feel engaged and determined to excel.

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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

As a front-line manager you have a critical responsibility to keep your staff motivated to do their best on the job. Your employees rely on you for instruction and direction and they want to know their efforts are appreciated. When your team is performing in the zone or particular individuals are excelling, it’s necessary to show them that you notice.

“. . . people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou, American author and activist

Whether someone is a long-term employee or a new hire, feedback they receive from their manager is important. It reaffirms that they’re meeting their responsibilities, increasing their confidence. A staff member who feels appreciated will be more engaged at work and loyal towards the company and their supervisor. They’ll more readily step up when a shift needs to be covered or volunteer for additional duties. …


Your boss wants to meet and you think you’re in trouble. I’ll give you a manager’s perspective on how to approach this meeting.

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Your boss has asked you to meet with them, and you don’t know what to expect. Maybe they asked something vague like “can I talk to you for a minute?”, or sent you a calendar invite with a subject like “quick chat” or “update”. Perhaps they’ve let you know that it’s about an assignment you’ve submitted, but it’s still vague and you’re worried. Or maybe you’ve called in sick one too many times or done something inappropriate and you’re sure you are in trouble. …


Whether you plan to be a millionaire or a hermit in the woods, success requires goals linked to Principles and Core Values.

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Photo by Charlie Firth on Unsplash

Personal effectiveness is often defined as one’s ability to set and achieve goals. This sounds simple, it’s only two things. However, the step that people struggle with is setting effective goals in the first place. This is often because they haven’t yet defined and fully understood their principles and core values. Trying to set goals that aren’t derived from your principles and core values is like building a house on sand — they’re doomed to come apart, because they have no foundation.

Too often, people set impersonal goals derived from social pressures, such as ‘lose weight’, ‘get a promotion’, or ‘buy a house’. These might be great goals, but if they don’t sync with your principles and values, you’ll struggle to stay motivated long enough to achieve them, and if you do achieve them, you’ll be surprisingly unfulfilled. …


Management and unions may never see perfectly eye-to-eye, but knowing and trusting your resources can get you close.

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Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

In an ideal working world, unions and management would exist together in a symbiotic relationship. The needs of employees would be brought forward by reasonable union representatives, and an understanding management team would respond by providing fair, reasonable compromises and solutions. All situations would be treated in a black-and-white manner, and everyone would leave happy.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. No workplace situation is without its gray areas, especially when discipline is involved. For an employee, disciplinary actions put them in a position where their job is in possible jeopardy. …


Proactive habits will help you achieve your ideal future, whether that be career growth, early retirement, or any other goal.

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Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

Successful people — by any measure — are proactive. They think about what they want their future to look like, and they take steps now to make that vision become reality. This is true, whether you aspire to become a successful business-person, the President, or a minimalist cottage-dweller.

Proactive behavior is what separates the person who gets promoted every year from the person who works harder than everyone else but never makes the cut. It’s what separates the person who retires comfortably at 50 from the person who can’t afford to retire at 65.

But how do you do prioritize the future when you’ve got bills to pay, kids to raise, and job commitments now? How do you find time to build towards some theoretical future when you’ve got urgent tasks today?


Learn the basics of ‘management language’ to avoid being lost or sounding foolish in your next big meeting.

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Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

When you’re promoted from the frontlines into your first manager role, you immediately become immersed in ‘management language’. These are words and expressions that come up in every meeting, one-on-one, and strategic planning session, and you’ll be expected to understand them.

And unfortunately for you (and indeed for all of us), you can’t depend on any formal training to get you caught up. Survey data shows that only 39% of new managers receive formal training, and the biggest training gap for managers is communication.

But how important is it to learn this ‘management language’? After all, isn’t it all a bunch of non-sense buzzwords and clichés? Sometimes, the unfortunate answer is yes. A lot of leaders introduce these words into their lexicon without really understanding them. In some unfortunate cases, they even use them to try and fit in or sound authoritative. …


KPIs are used in every business, but few use them effectively. This article will show you how to KPIs the right way.

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Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

In any strategic planning meeting, coaching session or performance review, you’ll likely discuss KPIs. You might hear them referred to as ‘performance metrics’, ‘fundamentals’, or my favourite, ‘the numbers’. No matter what your team calls them, we’re all talking about the same thing: Key Performance Indicators.

The trouble is, if you ask 5 different people what the purpose of a KPI is, you’ll likely get 5 different answers. That’s because, while KPIs are ubiquitous in today’s competitive business environments, the term has become overused and misunderstood. …


Internal communication makes or breaks companies. Learn to use a Manager’s greatest communication tool, the 1-on-1 Meeting.

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Image by Chakkree Chantakad from Pixabay

The relationship between a manager and their employees is a cornerstone of an organization’s culture. 1-on-1 meetings are the means through which these relationships are built.

Research shows that employees who have regular meetings with their managers are three times more likely to feel engaged in their work. Despite this, most managers still don’t meet with individual employees regularly. As a result, good employees quit, customer experience declines, and the business suffers (source).

1-on-1 meetings solve these problems by offering a simple way to build trust, resolve issues, share feedback, and help the employee feel supported. …


A whole lot of us have suddenly found ourselves working from home. Here’s how to make the most of it.

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Photo by Djurdjica Boskovic on Unsplash

Technological advancements, gig work, and our current global pandemic mean that a lot more people are working from home. Perhaps you’re thrilled about this, or perhaps you’re terrified. Either way is reasonable.

A central workplace gives you a regular schedule, coworkers to talk to, and a boss to hold you accountable. At home, you get none of those. Instead, you get self-accountability, social isolation, and unlimited distractions.

This shouldn’t sound scary, this should sound like an opportunity. If you do great work, communicate effectively, and hit all your deadlines, you’ll prove that you’re able to self-manage and self-motivate. …


The gig economy is growing, tuition fees are rising, and more people are looking to self-made entrepreneurs for inspiration. Is College still a ‘no-brainer’?

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Photo by Satria Perkasa on Unsplash

There’s a growing movement of people asking the question “is college worth it?”, and for good reason. As of May 2018, 88% of graduates from for-profit colleges had loans with an average debt of $40,000. Almost 50% of them default on their loans. (source) On top of that, according to U.S. Census data, only 27% of college grads have a job related to their major (source).

These are some of the stats many influential people point to in their argument against college. Every morning, I wake up to an Instagram feed full of infographics telling me to quit my job and become an entrepreneur. Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal, is even paying people to drop out. Are they right? …

About

Chris Bergen

Award-winning manager | Top Writer in Leadership and contributor at The Startup, The Helm and more | I’m into 80’s metal, Sci-Fi and Fitness 🤟🏼

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