Showing: 1-50 of 182

Search / Found (182)

Office Coach: 'Pay for performance' system causes friction

Q: I am appalled by the "pay for performance" system recently implemented by my company, which has more than 10,000 employees. Forced rankings are used to assign performance review scores, so 60 percent of the staff must now be rated as "meets expectations." Only 10 percent are allowed to re…

August 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Human resources must balance claims of workers, bosses

Q: Shortly after joining this company, I became aware of numerous issues related to discrimination and harassment. As a human-resources professional, I felt obligated to make management aware of these problems, so I reported them to my boss, who is the director of HR, and to several departme…

July 31, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Boss blindsided by request for internal transfer

Q: I recently applied for a position in another department without telling my boss. The job description sounded interesting but lacked important details, including work hours. I figured, however, that I could ask those questions during the interview.

July 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Ignoring silly custom causes hurt feelings

Q: I share an office with "Megan," who always says "bless you" when I sneeze. I think this is a silly habit, so when she sneezes, I say nothing. Recently, Megan scolded me for being rude when I failed to bless one of her sneezes. What's the best way to handle this?

July 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Don't play colleague's silly 'superiority game'

Q: I have an older co-worker who constantly tries to prove that he's smarter than I am. "Tom" never went to college, while I have an advanced degree. Although I never mention my education, he brings it up all the time.

July 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Don't approach new boss over changed job duties

Q: I am extremely upset about a recent reorganization. For several years, I have been a project manager in an international nonprofit agency. As part of my job, I have always been expected to attend senior staff meetings and participate in critical decisions.

July 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: 'Basket case' must restrain emotions or face dismissal

Q: I recently hired an employee who appears to be a high-strung basket case. "Shannon" is experienced and intelligent, but working with her is almost unbearably exhausting. Every phone call lasts at least an hour, and most of our face-to-face meetings end in tears. Her lengthy emails are all…

June 19, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Don't waste time seeking tattletale

Q: I recently made the mistake of including an inappropriate person on a group email. Someone tattled about this to my boss, who sternly warned me to never do it again. I'm not sure who the tattletale was, but I suspect three people. Two of the suspects are my co-workers, and the third is a …

June 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Complaining about jerk potentially may backfire

Q: Half the employees in our department are young people in their 20s, while the rest of us are over 40. The younger folks are definitely a different breed. Their ringleader, "Mike," is rude, arrogant and disrespectful. He likes to order people around and create unnecessary drama. In staff m…

June 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Boss must keep whistleblowers' identity secret

Q: Whenever my employees have a complaint about a co-worker, they ask me to handle the problem without mentioning their name. If the issue is trivial, I tell them to talk with the other party directly, but sometimes there are policy matters that I need to address.

May 29, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: New executive assistant should pin down what company boss expects

Q: I was recently hired as the executive assistant to a company president. On my second day, he gave me a project to do, then took off the afternoon to play golf. I had questions about this assignment, so I called his cellphone and sent an email, but got no response.

May 22, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Find a workplace-specific solution to problem cellphones

Q: The issue of employee cellphones is driving me crazy. I manage a small medical clinic with 15 staff members who interact with patients all day. Initially, I trusted them to use good judgment about personal calls, but that didn't work. Next, I asked them not to carry cell phones unless the…

May 15, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Carefully deflect sales pitch from boss

Q: The head of our department has been pressuring employees to purchase products from her husband, who recently began selling diet supplements through a multilevel marketing company. When I was invited to a "party" at their home to hear a sales pitch, I politely declined. But she still keeps…

May 08, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Good employment history should overshadow firing

Q: Six months ago, I was fired from a company where I worked for two years. My co-workers were a tight clique of women who blamed me whenever something went wrong. The supervisor supported them, and human resources didn't seem interested in my side of the story.

May 01, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Muster the courage, leave abusive boss

Q: The verbal abuse that I receive from my boss has been escalating for several years. About once a week, he begins shouting, cursing and banging on my desk. He starts criticizing my work, then brings up issues from my personal life.

April 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: To end power struggle, ask boss for help

Q: My manager, "Melanie," is undermining my relationship with my staff. Shortly after I was promoted to supervisor, my employees began going to Melanie with work-related concerns. Instead of involving me in these discussions, she tells me afterward how I should handle their issues.

April 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: As co-owner steps in, office secretary acts out

Q: My husband and I own a business that has seen some difficult economic times. For the past two years, we have had to reduce staff and cut salaries just to stay afloat. Now that our children are older, we have decided that I should start working in the office, especially since I have previo…

April 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Give employees some privacy, yourself a room with a door

Q: Our department's physical layout has created a lot of problems. My employees work in a completely open area without cubicles or dividers. There are no enclosed spaces where we can talk privately about confidential matters, such as personal problems or performance issues. The staff frequen…

April 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Do as co-worker asks - leave him alone

Q: What can I do about a co-worker who has decided he doesn't like me? For the last two years, "Matt" has been disdainful and dismissive whenever I try to talk to him. Recently, after I attempted to start a conversation, he loudly said, "This girl keeps trying to get me to talk to her. I wis…

March 27, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Set boundaries to avoid unpaid work

Q: I believe my employer is taking advantage of me. This company hired me to do telephone sales as an independent contractor, which means that I am paid strictly on commission with no benefits. There are no other contractors in the office where I am located.

March 20, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Shy deputy manager needs to show self-confidence

Q: After being promoted to a deputy director position in my agency, I initially felt excited and grateful. However, I have now become disillusioned because the director doesn't include me in any activities. I am supposed to be her backup, yet I know nothing about her job. She also questions …

March 13, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Meet with boss who bumbled promotion bid

Q: After working at an amusement park for three years, I am hoping for a promotion to supervisor. My last attempt, however, was a fiasco. When my supervisor quit, I told our manager, "Bob," that I was interested in the position. Bob gave me an application and said he would keep me in mind.

March 06, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: In this case, an anonymous note to CEO may be smartest strategy

Q: Our boss's wife was recently given a position in our department. She now works two levels below her husband, "Rick," who is the head of operations. This is clearly against the company's nepotism policy, which states that no one shall have any supervisory authority over a family member.

February 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Commenters offer revealing opinions on too much skin on job

After receiving a complaint about female co-workers who wore revealing outfits, I asked readers to share their views on professional office dress for women. Here's a representative sample of their comments:

February 20, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: New boss must fix what predecessor overlooked

Q: Since becoming the office manager for a large medical practice, I have received numerous complaints about one member of my staff. Several people have told me that "Tricia," our front desk supervisor, frequently makes harsh and demeaning comments to employees and even speaks sharply to patients.

February 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: In making chitchat at work, it's best to avoid sexual innuendo

Q: I am very upset about a remark made by my team leader, "Mitch," in a meeting. Our group works together closely, so we have become rather casual in the way we communicate. People use curse words occasionally, and we kid around a lot. As the only woman in the group, I always felt that I was…

February 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Well-meaning advice can seem like criticism

Q: I was recently told by both my boss and human resources that people have been complaining about me. My co-workers say I act superior and try to oversee their work. Apparently, my genuine offers of assistance have been viewed as meddling.

January 31, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Don't put up with worker's tardiness

Q: One of my employees constantly calls at the last minute to say she will be arriving late or not coming in at all. "Ginger" also leaves early on a regular basis, so she seldom works a full eight-hour day. Although she has no health problems, her absences average about one day a week.

January 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Being mature, contrite could take care of problem

Q: For a long time, one of my co-workers was very rude and snippy to me. Our new manager recently decided that we should be separated, so she transferred both of us to other branches. My office is now located an hour from home, which is causing a lot of problems.

January 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Wife's employer gets to decide if there's a conflict of interest

Q: My wife's boss has accused me of a conflict of interest. I am a self-employed notary public, and my wife is a bank loan officer. For years I have been notarizing signatures on her loan documents. To be clear, I do not notarize her signature, only those of the borrowers.

January 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Company doesn't care if some workers slack off

Q: I work in a small company where the owners refuse to do anything about incompetent employees. As a department head, I am not allowed to confront poor performers because the top executives, who are all family members, say they "don't want to rock the boat."

January 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Talkative colleagues distract worker who's in a high-traffic spot

Q: I am constantly distracted by people chatting near my desk. My cubicle sits next to a hallway, so there is an endless stream of employees passing by all day. For some reason, this seems to be the place where they always stop to talk.

December 27, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Discovery of indiscretion makes for an office enemy

Q: About a year ago, while working an evening shift, I accidentally walked in on the CEO's secretary in a compromising position with one of the vice presidents. From then on, this secretary did everything possible to make my life miserable, even though I never mentioned the incident to anyon…

December 20, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Accurate job reviews depend on good input from several bosses

Q: My boss and I have very different opinions about the performance of two people who report to me. She refused to sign their annual appraisals until I lowered the ratings and added some negative comments. I delayed turning in the forms for four months until the human resources manager final…

December 13, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Employees often take up slack for poor managers

Q: My supervisor is an extremely poor manager. Despite 20 years of military experience, he appears to be incapable of coordinating activities or giving clear directions. In meetings, he will say "This needs to get done today" or "That needs to be fixed" without assigning specific tasks to an…

December 06, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Disappointed worker needs to stop dwelling on missed promotion

Q: One of my co-workers, "Andrea," was recently promoted to a higher-level position. I applied for the same job but was never even interviewed, despite the fact that I have more experience and my work is more complex. My boss says Andrea has the necessary qualifications, but I have investiga…

November 29, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Manager's backing imperative to supervising difficult team

Q: My manager, "Ray," recently asked me to begin supervising the clerical staff. This is a troublesome group of five women who have a history of slacking off. They always arrive late and leave early, but put a full day on their time cards. Ray knows about these problems, but has done nothing…

November 22, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Worker bee told to be more sociable after colleagues complain to boss

Q: During my last performance review, my manager told me that I need to improve my interpersonal relationships. Some of my co-workers apparently said that I don't talk to them enough. I actually am a friendly person, but at work my only goal is to get my tasks completed. In my opinion, we're…

November 08, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Bad boss? Try lowering your expectations

Q: I was recently assigned to a manager who has a reputation for being a poor leader. "Gary" is not very knowledgeable and comes across as insecure. A few weeks ago, he called me into his office and critiqued my work down to the last microscopic detail. This was highly insulting, because I h…

November 01, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Abusive attitude begins at the top

Q: Our company's human resources manager is an autocratic bully. She gives people verbal warnings for being one minute late and has been known to subject employees to searches. Even though everyone regards her as cruel and obnoxious, she seems to have a disproportionate amount of influence w…

October 25, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Co-worker's romance at work presents a sensitive problem

Q: Two of my co-workers, "Jake" and "Cheryl," sit next to each other and spend a lot of time whispering and giggling. They often leave the office together and are sometimes gone for hours. Jake's wife recently told me they have separated because he is having an affair with Cheryl.

October 18, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Ask boss for help in gaining visibility

Q: Even though I'm a senior manager, no one outside my department seems to know I exist. Whenever people need information related to my group, they always contact my boss. Instead of referring them to me, she will either answer the question herself or go to my employees for assistance. I am …

October 11, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Provide clear guidance on appropriate dress

Q: One of my employees frequently wears clothing that is too small and too tight. Although we have a written dress code, "Rachel" has apparently decided to ignore it. Customers and co-workers have commented on the amount of skin and cleavage she displays.

October 04, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Don't be childish over tardiness issue

Q: My manager recently gave me a performance warning for coming to work late. She has started monitoring me very closely, which makes me feel like some sort of criminal. I don't think I deserve to be treated this way just because I have poor time-management skills.

September 27, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Don't jump to conclusions about peer who is now boss

Q: After our new CEO reorganized the company, one of my peers became my boss. "Barry" was promoted primarily because he had worked with the CEO at another business. Before this change, Barry and I collaborated on several successful projects and worked well together as colleagues.

September 20, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Consider carefully before filing discrimination case

Q: I am trying to decide whether I should file a discrimination charge against my employer. For the past year, I have had a temporary job as a counselor with an employee assistance program. When a permanent position became available, my supervisor encouraged me to apply, praising my counseli…

September 13, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Finding a mentor is essential in a sink-or-swim job

Q: I'm afraid that I might be fired from my first professional job. Four months ago, after finishing law school, I was hired by a very large firm that has no orientation or training program. My boss keeps saying "just figure it out" and gets angry if I ask other attorneys for help.

September 06, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Ask boss directly about distressing comment

Q: During my last performance review, my boss said he is paying me too much for what I do. At the same time, he called me an extremely good office manager and mentioned no problems with my performance. For the past seven years, I have handled all his administrative work, plus many unexpected…

August 30, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Complaint about workload can come off as whiny

Q: I am the only salesperson in a very small software company. Everyone else seems to have a clear job description that matches their skill set, but I have many responsibilities unrelated to sales. To make matters worse, the owner keeps giving me tasks that I am not qualified to do. For exam…

August 23, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: County agency unlikely to change toxic culture

Q: I am the executive director of a small community mental-health center. Recently, the county department of social services (DSS) contracted with us to provide counseling to children in foster care. Shortly after beginning this collaboration, we were blindsided by the negative organizationa…

August 16, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...
View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...