Dana Wilkie

Articles by this author:

  • Mon May 05 2014

    Two or three times a week, you find him in a break room chair, catching some Zs—and not just during the lunch hour.

    Maybe his naps are interfering with deadlines or meetings. Perhaps they don’t affect his work, but you’re wondering if you should say or do something.

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  • Mon Mar 31 2014

    Is it gossip to spread the news that Ted and Rachel are getting married before Ted and Rachel have announced so publicly?

    Is it gossip to speculate whether Carol in accounting is expecting a child?

    A December 2013 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling addressing workplace no-gossip policies raises this question: When does gossip cross the line from innocuous, garden-variety conversation to something so potentially hurtful, harmful or liable that companies are within their rights to forbid it?

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  • Tue Feb 04 2014

    Jane Sunley’s new book, "It’s Never OK to Kiss the Interviewer," was prompted by an audience member’s naïve question.

    While the book (LID Publishing, January 2014) is aimed at job applicants, it holds truths for employers, too: Figure out if the candidate’s values are in line with the company’s; make sure the applicant’s skills, attitude and work style are a good fit for the job; and find ways to make the new hire’s transition into the organization relatively seamless.

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  • Thu Dec 19 2013

    “Would it be hard working for a boss younger than you?”

    “Do you think our technology demands might be too much?”

    “Why would you want this job, given all your experience?”

    “People here work long hours; that probably doesn’t interest you.”

    Such are the remarks interviewers make that, unwittingly or not, convey the message that an over-55 applicant is “too old” for a job.

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  • Tue Dec 17 2013

    It’s performance evaluation time at many companies, and for managers it’s time to brush up on ways to break good and not-so-good news, such as:

    • “We’re giving you more responsibility but no raise.”

    • “You hit all your goals, and now you get tougher ones.”

    • “You’re still employed, but we’re putting you on a performance improvement plan.”

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  • Fri Dec 13 2013

    If your worksite is packed with employees earning more than $100,000 a year, here’s the good news: Your company is more likely than others to host a holiday party, serve alcohol at an open bar and offer transportation to those who overindulge. 

    Here’s the bad news: Your organization is least likely to enforce rules about party behavior, and your workers are most inclined to act inappropriately during the festivities and then be disciplined for it later on. 

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  • Thu Dec 05 2013

    The next time one of your employees admires your business suit, it’s OK to wonder if she’s sucking up.

    More than one in five U.S. employees admit to complimenting managers to get on their good side -- even if the flattery is a bunch of hooey.

    Just be glad you aren’t a supervisor in India: Almost half of workers there (46%) say they sweet-talk their bosses even if they don’t mean it.

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  • Wed Nov 27 2013

    At Zappos.com, the online shoe business, the person answering calls is not the “receptionist”; he’s the “director of first impressions.”

    At Texas-based BerylHealth, where health care workers advise clients by telephone, the company pairs employees with executives in a spoof of “Dancing with the Stars.”

    And at San Diego-based Red Door Interactive, a business consultancy, one of the core values is this: “We are 100 percent jerk-free.”

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  • Thu Oct 24 2013

    Many employers encourage workers to decorate their workspace or dress up for Halloween, or allow workplace Halloween parties featuring decorations and costumes.

    But what one person considers funny and harmless, another may view as tasteless or offensive.

    On a blog called “Ask a Manager,” one black reader inquired about how to tell white co-workers that painting their faces dark so they could imitate basketball stars would offend her. Her question inspired both empathy and disbelief.

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  • Mon Oct 07 2013

    Is it legal -- and if so, is it advisable -- to fire a worker if he or she is looking for another job?

    “Yes, it is legal,” said Eric Meyer, a partner at Philadelphia-based law firm Dilworth Paxson LLP and author of the online law blog “The Employer Handbook.” “Whether or not it is advisable depends on the circumstances.”

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