Management: Tools for Being a Better Manager
“Management” is such a broad and vague term, but at its core management entails the fine art of supervising other people. Whether you’re a high-level executive, run a small business, or work in middle or lower management, the job of managing people involves many pitfalls and challenges. In this Web Guide we recommend the best places on the Internet to get general management advice. You’ll learn about hiring and firing, explore motivation and team building, and find some great blogs and forums on management.
As a manager, you have your work cut out for you: you have to build a workforce, cultivate it, inspire it, and mold it at the same time. The ability to multitask is vital in this job. The sites in this section introduce you to the responsibilities of a manager and are great bookmarks to go back to time and again. They’ll provide management help and advice, update you on the latest industry news, and simply make your job easier.
- When researching management on the Internet, you’ll come across many general sites, each containing numerous articles. If you want more information after reading an article, check the sidebars or margins: often you’ll find links to similar articles on the same Web site.
- Alan C. Greenberg is often credited with making Bear Stearns the giant it is today. He outlines his thoughts on management in Memos from the Chairman.
is chock-full of anything you need to know about the business management community, including incisive articles and advice, the latest news, and informative podcasts. Each day you’ll get something new about the management world on this site.
is produced by a UK-based company but most of the content is applicable no matter where you work. Look for news, blogs, columns, advice, hot topics, events, podcasts, and more.
Free Management Library
is a vast collection of articles helping anyone lead or manage others regardless of the company’s size or mission. The Library consists of about 650 topics, each replete with tips and suggested further reading. Find resources to help the novice manager or the veteran; students, employees, and researchers can learn from the articles as well.
is a community and trove of information for everything relating to career development, with plenty on leadership and management. Browse this cleanly designed site to find more than 100 “skill-builder articles
” or sign up for the free newsletter
. Access many perks, including a coaching clinic and expert interviews, when you become a member (memberships cost either $19 or $27 per month, with the first month costing $1).
presents this article about “How To Manage A Virtual Workforce,” explaining that management strategies are slightly different for those who manage a group of workers in an out-of-office setting. Learn some key things to remember about managing virtually, like meaningfully communicating with employees even if you cannot meet face-to-face.
It is much easier to be an effective manager if you have talented employees, and part of your job as a manager is to seek out this talent and secure it. Use the sites in this section to learn the best questions to ask in an interview, how to choose job candidates, and what to do once you’ve found a candidate you like.
- Keep in mind that some of the sites in the first section of this Web Guide explore these topics as well.
- If you’re looking online for sample interview questions, you’re much more likely to find them discussed from the point of view of an interviewee than that of the interviewer. However, these employee-focused sites can be quite helpful to managers wishing to better understand the mindset of job applicants and the answers they give in interviews.
For general hiring tips …
is a blog written by a technology entrepreneur, and includes this insightful blog entry about hiring “the best people you’ve ever worked with.” Also look for a great blog entry on the more specific topics of hiring, promoting, and firing executives
, which is of particular use to those top managers who oversee senior employees.
For advice on interviewing …
The Free Management Library
contains a section on conducting interviews. The information here is brief and not very detailed, but it is a perfect introduction to the process. Learn about preparatory steps for the interview, what kinds of interviews there are (for example, “informal” and “open-ended”), how to sequence and frame your interview questions, and more.
devotes a section of its site to hiring. Find a guide to job interviews, the hiring tactics used by powerhouse companies such as Google and Southwest Airlines, the seven necessary questions of a job interview, a list of frequent mistakes managers make when recruiting, and a video on the whole process.
The sites in this section explore some of the more enjoyable parts of being a manager, and some of the most disconcerting. That being said, the practices of evaluating employee performance and promoting or firing accordingly are still fine arts that should be researched in advance.
- Be aware when researching on your own for performance evaluations that you may come across professor or college faculty performance evaluations. If this isn’t what you’re looking for, keep in mind that a university Web site contains an “.edu” in the URL, and skip that site.
- Before you terminate anyone’s employment, you should know your legal rights as well as the employee’s rights. The section of this guide on Management Legal Concerns should help.
- If you are conducting your own search, bear in mind that different Web sites use different words and phrases to refer to employee termination. Changing your search terms from “laying off” to “firing” to “terminating,” for example, will yield sometimes drastically different results.
For help with performance evaluations …
Microsoft Office Online
presents an article from a management and organization development consultant describing how to conduct employee performance evaluations. Explore some of the various types of evaluations, such as “point evaluation” and “factor comparison,” and learn the best ways to implement them.
Ask a Manager
is a blog written by a manager of a medium-sized organization. Read this post to learn what to expect with performance evaluations, and how to make the most of them.
is a legal information Web site, and this particular selection called “How to Conduct Employee Evaluations” stresses the important legal implications. Read how employee evaluations can be legally beneficial in the long run because they provide a record of your suggestions for improvement, in case you later need to fire anyone.
For promoting …
Expert Business Source’s
blog, “HR Made Simple,” presents an introductory article on promoting workers called “Promoting Employees: How to Avoid Common Mistakes.” Read up on some of the most important things to consider when promoting other employees.
Microsoft Small Business Center
offers a selection called “Promoting employees: how to get it right.” Look for seven tips to keep in mind when you’re considering giving an employee that promotion.
For employee termination …
, though ad-heavy, has an impressive compilation of articles and videos about terminating employees. Look for content organized in three main sections: “Layoffs & Dismissals
,” “Severance Pay
,” and “Wrongful Termination
.” Don’t miss the “Editors’ Picks” for suggested articles, or view the most recently added pieces near the bottom of the page.
provides this article entitled, “Management: How to Fire People.” Although the Web site and the article are geared toward the business technology and IT industry, the information is applicable to anyone who needs help with this daunting task. Read the insightful interviews with an assortment of business leaders to learn their differing theories.
presents this 2007 article called “Fear Of Firing.” Read about the tense environment in the present day managerial world where firing an employee is not only an unpleasant experience, but also a feared one. The article makes use of some horror stories (for managers, at least) involving litigation. Though you won’t find much practical information on preventing these predicaments, the article does succeed in raising awareness of the issue.
One of the most important talents a manager can have is the ability to motivate his or her workers and create a more enjoyable and productive workplace. Learn how to create cohesion through team building exercises and potent managing with the Web sites on employee motivation we recommend below.
- There are plenty of companies that specialize in team building, and you can purchase their services. Some of the sites in this section do, in fact, offer such services or other products, but all the sites below have great free information available.
- A manager is a leader. If you search the Internet for sites on becoming a better leader, you’ll likely encounter some valuable information for your vocation.
- First, Break All the Rules is a valuable book examining the practices of successful managers in all kinds of industries and levels, with great insight on motivation and leadership.
- Wooden on Leadership, by John Wooden, discusses how to cultivate your leadership skills as a manager and how to instill a powerful work ethic in your employees.
For introductory articles on employee motivation …
Harvard Business School
explains the main reason workers become dissatisfied with their jobs. Discover the steps managers must take to alleviate the common drop in employee morale after the first six months at a new job.
offers “Ten Tips on Improving Employee Motivation.” After reading this helpful introduction, explore some related articles, blogs, videos and forums listed below the main article.
For leadership and employee motivation articles …
provides a number of Web pages on employee motivation. Read about the theories and theorists behind worker motivation and team building, from individuals such as Douglas McGregor and Abraham Maslow. Learn how to implement some of these strategies, how to manage employee rewards, and more. Use the “Next” links on the bottom of each page to read on.
is loaded with articles about motivating workers, organized into six sections: “Corporate Culture,” “Morale Boosters,” “Recognition,” “Non-Cash Incentives,” “Motivation by Compensation,” and “Creating a Fun Workplace.” Find a number of articles written by a variety of respected authors in the field.
You don’t have to be a lawyer to benefit from educating yourself about management legal concerns. In fact, it can only make you a better manager to learn as much as you can about legal issues at work. Use this section to find out how to legally protect yourself and your employees.
- Some of these sites are not specifically geared toward management law, but employment law in general. However, as a manager it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of employment law.
- As a manager, you probably have a boss as well. The links in this section can assist you in learning your rights as an employee.
specializes in providing information for HR professionals; it offers a fantastic “Legal Insight” section. Find news and feature stories related to legal issues in the working world. Scroll down to find blogs and a forum, and sections for learning about legal basics as a manager.
has an “Employee Rights Center” full of legal information. Get an overview of rights
or choose a more specific topic such as sexual harassment
or medical leave
. FindLaw provides quick and straightforward explanations to help you understand the acts or laws that pertain to your particular area of concern.
is an organization that promotes fair work practices and strives to protect workers' rights. Visit the “Your Rights
” section to find general legal information about workplace issues such as hiring practices, pay, health and safety, unions, termination, and others. Once you enter any section of the site you'll see links on the right side of each Web page to connect you with free legal advice, advocacy groups, and enforcement agencies.
Sometimes the best information can come from others in your situation. By picking the brains of bloggers and interacting with other managers on forums, you may learn certain facets of management that you won’t find anywhere else.
- You may find that some of the management blogs are promotional vehicles for either the author’s book or company. If this is the case, you should not necessarily dismiss the blog as it can provide you with some excellent (and free) tips and advice.
- If you can’t get enough management blogs, the blogrolls of the sites below can be of help. Use these resources, located on the right or left sidebar of each site, to find additional blogs to satiate your interests.
For management blogs …
The Management-Issues blog
has three primary authors, though there are also columns written by a number of knowledgeable individuals called “Thought Leaders.” Rather than sifting through the entries, use the blog’s search engine to find posts on a specific issue.
is written by a management consultant who learned about organizational leadership during his years in the military. Although the site is devoid of graphic design, you’ll find some great content regarding better management practices.
All Things Workplace
is a valuable blog about, well, all things that occur in the workplace. The blog is flippant at times but it certainly conveys useful information. For example, learn what to do about the holiday party as a manager. Better yet, avoid the holiday party altogether with the blog’s link to Enlighten’s Holiday Party Excuse Generator
blog, “The Performance & Talent Management Blog,” is written by a senior manager at the company, so certainly part of this blog’s goal is to promote the company. But SuccessFactors’ main Web site
provides plenty of helpful information about management, and the blog is able to condense some of the information on the site and present it in a more user-friendly, accessible, and timely way.
For forums …
consists of more than 30 discussion forums on all sorts of topics related to management, though some are more active than others. Register for a free membership
to post in the forums, or sign up for a newsletter to stay up-to-date on a forum issue.
Manager Tools Forums
contains a number of active forums about leadership and management. Find plenty of recent posts here on issues like one-on-ones, coaching, hiring practices, and the feedback model.
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