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Management News

Management News is South-Western's service to provide summaries of the latest management news stories. Review the brief summaries and, for stories of interest, select the full summary.
MANAGING INDIVIDUALS AND TEAMS
Title  Brief Summary 
Meetings are a Matter of Precious Time
Full Summary
Meetings are time-killers. The average business meeting is often too unstructured, too unproductive, and too long. The discussion keeps droning on, the decisions keep getting put off, and the clock keeps ticking. Too many meetings are chalked up to wasted time. The article suggests techniques to make meetings more meaningful.
(Updated June 2009)
Interstate Bakeries Announces Organizational Changes
Full Summary
Interstate Bakeries Corporation has realigned its organization in a new cross-functional matrix structure. The new structure is designed to help the company eliminate duplication of efforts and focus more clearly on customers and bottom-line results.
(Updated January 2008)
CPP, Inc. Case Study Illustrates Effective Conflict Handling
Full Summary
A recent study proves that there is a high correlation between conflict handling and customer satisfaction ratings for inbound call centers. Call center representatives who use a combination of “collaborating” and “accommodating” styles scored the highest on customer satisfaction ratings.
(Updated January 2008)
Preferential Policies Fading State by State
Full Summary
Affirmative action has undergone many changes since the 1990s, when it was a top priority program. Four states are now debating whether to pass a measure that would make racial preference illegal, similar to California’s 1996 law. The issue has not been met with much resistance, which seems to show that affirmative action could be on its way out.
(Updated July 2007)
Baby Boomers Create Age Discrimination Challenges for Employers
Full Summary
As the general population continues to age, managers need to be more aware of the policies and procedures that are implemented in their company, especially when it comes to termination. Certain acts may discriminate against older workers, creating “disparate impact,” which can lead to expensive lawsuits.
(Updated June 2007)
Managing from Afar
Full Summary
The author of this article suggests that any organization that wants to stay competitive needs to capitalize on its people and its processes. The best method for putting this in practice is through the use of empowerment teams.
(Updated February 2007)
Creating Empowerment Teams Helps Multiply Productivity
Full Summary
The author of this article suggests that any organization that wants to stay competitive needs to capitalize on its people and its processes. The best method for putting this in practice is through the use of empowerment teams.
(Updated December 2006)
Food Franchisers Embrace Diversity
Full Summary
With the nation’s minority purchasing powers expanding rapidly, many businesses are realizing that it is in their best interest to reach out to these groups. Franchisers like Church’s Chicken are taking their diversity initiatives seriously and putting effort into recruiting minority entrepreneurs.
(Updated October 2006)
Getting Up to Full Speed
Full Summary
Many companies make the mistake of thrusting good performers into management roles with little or no preparation for what the role entails. The costs in terms of team productivity and motivation can be catastrophic. New managers can proactively approach their management role and take five basic steps to help them be more successful in their new position.
(Updated July 2006)
A New Generation Gap: Differences Emerge Among Women in the Workplace
Full Summary
With four different generations in the workplace, some women are having difficulty relating to other women born at different times. The struggles to communicate and understand different perspectives are hampering mentoring and damaging productivity.
(Updated July 2006)
Beyond the Looking Glass: a Diversity Initiative Involves More than Just Looking like Your Customers
Full Summary
In order to capture market share in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, companies need to implement diversity programs that build and manage employee relationships through trust and nurturing. In order to be successful, the programs should incorporate elements of recruitment, training and retention.
(Updated March 2006)
Teamwork Raises Everyone’s
Full Summary
Managers are beginning to shift their thinking past “star employees,” and instead concentrate more on building efficient teams who work together for the good of the company and themselves.
(Updated December 2005)
Bosses Who Pigeonhole Workers Waste Talent, Contribute to Turnover
Full Summary
Pigeonholing employees in jobs in which they have been successful in the past can limit their contributions to the company. It also leads to discontent and turnover.
(Updated July 2005)
Productivity Grows as Workers Take Time for Recharging Their Batteries
Full Summary
As people are being asked to do more with less on the job today, productivity has become an important measure. Job coaches say that the most efficient employees are those that are organized, get enough rest, and have good working conditions with plenty of breaks to recharge their mind. Managers also have the power to enhance or hurt the productivity of those who work for them.
(Updated June 2005)
With Different Work Values, Younger Group Waits for Boomers to Move Aside
Full Summary
As baby boomers reach retirement age, Generation Xers wait to take over management positions. The transition could mean changes to a more balanced approach for the workforce.
(Updated February 2005)
Team Goals: The Whys, the Dos and the Don'ts
Full Summary
Goal setting for team members is an important part of the team process. Goals provide direction, and clarify what the tasks are, who will do them, and what is expected of every participant. Some fundamental principles are important to keep in mind when framing goals for individual members of the team.
(Updated 08/01/04)
Technology: Business Solutions
Full Summary
Companies value teamwork between employees, but using email to communicate is no longer a practical solution by itself. A new generation of specialized collaboration software creates sites where teams can share documents and calendars, engage in discussions, or send messages to team members.
(Updated 07/01/04)
How to Succeed with Self-directed Work Teams
Full Summary
This article outlines 9 guidelines for a successful self-directed team.
(Updated 12/01/03)
EEOC Finds Allstate Broke Age-bias Laws
Full Summary
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that Allstate Corp. has violated federal laws prohibiting age discrimination by blocking the agents from preserving their benefits and giving jobs to younger recruits.
(Updated 12/01/03)
Older Workers Are Thriving Despite Recent Hard Times
Full Summary
The percentage of workers in America aged 55-64 has steadily increased since 2000, especially for women. Employers are holding onto older staff members, and workers are finding lots of reasons to stay in their jobs.
(Updated 11/01/03)
GoKarts Used as Exercise in Workplace Team-Building
Full Summary
Team building exercises are often used to reward employees or to improve relationships between team members. This article describes a company that provides an unusual kind of team building activity.
(Updated 03/31/03)
Containing Top Staff
Full Summary
One of a manager's greatest challenges is keeping top employees from leaving the company. The Container Store was recently named one of Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. CEO Kip Tindell attributes their success to never forgetting that it is a firm's people who make the difference.
(Updated 03/31/03)
Web-based Tools Help Find the Right Person for the Job
Full Summary
Hiring employees is one of the most important and can be the most time consuming task a manager performs. Software advances are making it possible for managers to reduce the time, and possibly make better hires in the process.
(Updated 02/01/03)
Button-Down Conference Rooms Loosen Up
Full Summary
Companies are recognizing that formal conference rooms aren't always the most conducive to creative teamwork. People have changed the way they work, and their work spaces reflect those changes.
(Updated 12/31/02)
The Secret of Great Groups
Full Summary
In this article, Warren Bennis shares his findings on the characteristics of "Great Groups" and their leaders. He concludes that effective groups rely on many long-established practices of good management: effective communication, exceptional recruitment, genuine empowerment, and personal commitment.
(Updated 12/31/02)
Where Did Everyone Go?
Full Summary
Through October of 2002, companies have cut 1.2 million jobs. The employees who are left behind find themselves working harder and more hours than ever to pick up the slack. What can managers do to help with the increased stress and uncertainty?
(Updated 12/31/02)
We're All the Boss
Full Summary
Giving workers stock helps a firm only if it also gives them a say in how the company is run. Employee-owned companies tend to survive longer, lose fewer workers, enjoy bigger profits and are more productive than their non-employee-owned competitors.
(Updated 12/31/02)
For UPS Managers, A School of Hard Knocks
Full Summary
United Parcel Service Inc. has a very diverse base of employees with a predominantly white management team. Its Community Internship Program (CIP) brings managers to cities where they perform daily service projects, such as building housing for the poor, working in a drug rehab center, or providing meals to the homeless. The goal is to teach them empathy for the kinds of situations many UPS employees confront.
(Updated 10/23/02)
Aggression Loses Some of its Punch
Full Summary
The top-down, Type A animal used to be coveted. But the value of such players is sliding in a more global, complex workplace in which teamwork matters. Compensation is changing, too, to reward the efforts of the group, not the individual.
(Updated 10/23/02)
Voluntary, Flexible Mentor Programs can Aid Retention,
Full Summary
Companies are finding that mentor programs provide opportunities for employees to learn the corporate culture, get practical advice, or learn from someone with a specific set of skills. While a well-planned mentor program can change the company's culture for the better, a poorly designed one will be seen as just another add-on.
(Updated 10/23/02)
Five Rules to Managing Project Teams
Full Summary
Managing staff from a department other than your own is a challenge. It is important to respect everyone's contribution to the team and communicate openly. These 5 steps will increase your effetiveness as a team leader.
(Updated 8/01/02)
Perils of Part-Time
Full Summary
Some employees choose to work alternative schedules during key times in their lives, but there are advantages and disadvantages to flexible-scheduling. This articles focuses on what an employee can do to make it work.
(Updated 8/01/02)
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