Enterprise Software

Top tips on managing your team

This trio of columns by Bob Artner focuses on issues that can be particularly problematic for IT managers. Read these tips on how to manage conflict, performance reviews, and projects.


Editor’s note: Columnist Bob Artner is away this week.

IT managers spend countless hours on issues such as hiring, training, retaining, and firing members of the IT team, while also trying to find the time for IT management. Many TechRepublic members find help with personnel management issues by turning to Bob Artner and his weekly column, The Laws of Technical Management. Bob’s advice is helping IT managers navigate the treacherous waters of employee relations and management.

We have compiled three of Bob’s columns on topics that can be particularly problematic: manager-employee conflict, performance reviews, and team management. The tips in these columns can help IT managers better understand the human side of management and may even give managers more time to handle day-to-day technical issues.

Managing manager-employee conflict
The English poet Alexander Pope once said, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” This is advice that managers should take to heart, especially if they have a conflict with a staff member or a counterpart in their organization.

However, managers should also understand that no matter what they do, not everyone will like them or what they do. “We’re hired to produce results, and we do that by directing and managing performance, not by being everyone’s best friend,” said Artner in his column “Manager-employee conflict—What do you do?”

So what should you do when you have a problem with an employee? Artner suggests not to ignore the situation and that you should talk politely and rationally to the employee. Then, factor in your own role in the situation.

Easing the pain of performance reviews
Let’s face it. Managers do not look forward to employee reviews. Reviews take time and elevate the tension between managers and employees.

Artner suggested in his column “Adopt a new plan to ease pain of performance reviews” that managers reduce annual review headaches by collecting review material during the year prior to a review, not two days before. Collecting and storing this information does not involve more work for IT managers. It just means getting used to recognizing helpful information. For example, Artner said that e-mails between you and a staff member, the employee’s last review, and HR information are places to look.

Identifying employee expertise
What would you do if you spent hours working with employee A on a project only to discover that employee B completed a similar project prior to working at your organization? Probably clamp a hand to your forehead and kick yourself for not knowing what employee B did in a past life. Just think of the time you would have saved if you’d known B’s experience beforehand.

In his column “Is it time for an experience inventory?” Artner suggested that projects can run more smoothly and easily when managers know their employees’ past experience at other organizations. He called on managers to consider developing an experience inventory of employee expertise as a way to help judge the time and scope of future projects.

“Rather than a formal interview or set of procedures, an experience inventory is a series of things you can do to find out about past projects that your staff has worked on,” Artner wrote.

We want to know
Tell us about your best practices for handling employee issues. Drop us a line or start a discussion below.

 

Editor’s note: Columnist Bob Artner is away this week.

IT managers spend countless hours on issues such as hiring, training, retaining, and firing members of the IT team, while also trying to find the time for IT management. Many TechRepublic members find help with personnel management issues by turning to Bob Artner and his weekly column, The Laws of Technical Management. Bob’s advice is helping IT managers navigate the treacherous waters of employee relations and management.

We have compiled three of Bob’s columns on topics that can be particularly problematic: manager-employee conflict, performance reviews, and team management. The tips in these columns can help IT managers better understand the human side of management and may even give managers more time to handle day-to-day technical issues.

Managing manager-employee conflict
The English poet Alexander Pope once said, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” This is advice that managers should take to heart, especially if they have a conflict with a staff member or a counterpart in their organization.

However, managers should also understand that no matter what they do, not everyone will like them or what they do. “We’re hired to produce results, and we do that by directing and managing performance, not by being everyone’s best friend,” said Artner in his column “Manager-employee conflict—What do you do?”

So what should you do when you have a problem with an employee? Artner suggests not to ignore the situation and that you should talk politely and rationally to the employee. Then, factor in your own role in the situation.

Easing the pain of performance reviews
Let’s face it. Managers do not look forward to employee reviews. Reviews take time and elevate the tension between managers and employees.

Artner suggested in his column “Adopt a new plan to ease pain of performance reviews” that managers reduce annual review headaches by collecting review material during the year prior to a review, not two days before. Collecting and storing this information does not involve more work for IT managers. It just means getting used to recognizing helpful information. For example, Artner said that e-mails between you and a staff member, the employee’s last review, and HR information are places to look.

Identifying employee expertise
What would you do if you spent hours working with employee A on a project only to discover that employee B completed a similar project prior to working at your organization? Probably clamp a hand to your forehead and kick yourself for not knowing what employee B did in a past life. Just think of the time you would have saved if you’d known B’s experience beforehand.

In his column “Is it time for an experience inventory?” Artner suggested that projects can run more smoothly and easily when managers know their employees’ past experience at other organizations. He called on managers to consider developing an experience inventory of employee expertise as a way to help judge the time and scope of future projects.

“Rather than a formal interview or set of procedures, an experience inventory is a series of things you can do to find out about past projects that your staff has worked on,” Artner wrote.

We want to know
Tell us about your best practices for handling employee issues. Drop us a line or start a discussion below.

 

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