Blanchard & Walker Weekly

Topic of the Week  Bosses Don't Have to Be a Four Letter Word: Coaching Strategies

DO regular reviews.
DO allow for mistakes.
DO provide positive feedback too.
DON'T wait for problem.

Talk to many employees and they complain that they are either taken for granted or taken advantage of by their company. Talk to many bosses and they say that a paycheck should be motivation enough for employees. After over 50,000 emails from employees and bosses, I've heard both arguments more times than I can count. Is it any wonder that getting everyone energized and focused is one of the toughest challenges an organization faces? Which reminds me of a guy who was driving his car on a highway in Washington State when nature called. He pulled his car to the side of the road and ended up falling down a 30 foot embankment where he was trapped for several hours. Finally a special unit of the Renton, WA Fire Department was able to rescue the guy.

People will fall down at work and need help getting back on their feet. The question is, will someone be there to pick them up? The answer should be yes, but most organizations don't address their weakest link, the breakdown in the relationship between bosses and employees. Here are four strategies to get your organization to be more productive AND more humane (in my experience the two always go hand in hand).

DO regular reviews. Okay, I've been accused of being a feedback junkie. I think that feedback allows you to work at a highest level. For most organizations the annual performance review is a Kabuki dance that happens every few years and often has little follow up to actually change behavior. I'm a big believer that feedback should be given regularly, monthly at a minimum. Great performance takes time, effort and lots of atta-boys and atta-women.

DO allow for mistakes. Most organizations talk a good game about thinking outside the box, but they come down like a ton of brinks on any mistakes that happen. The famous quote from Samuel Goldwin sums it up best, "I don't want any yes men around me. I want people to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs." Right Sammie. You can ask for perfection or innovation, it's ridiculous to expect that you can get both.

DO provide positive feedback too. Bosses are really good at either
never giving compliments or doing the famous, "You're doing a good job, but..." Realize that once your employees are "but-trained" they'll seldom hear whatever comes before it, because they're bracing for the criticism they know is just ahead.

DON'T wait for problem. Organizations are really good at denying that a problem exists until it becomes a $5 million lawsuit. Learn how to spot area of concern long before they become a problem.

Talk them through. Heck, even do scenario planning, where you talk about potential problems that could arise and brainstorm about the ways that you can address them early and often.

Follow these tips and your people won't need to be rescued at work. They'll be in good hands, yours.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him

Thought of the Week

"The speed of the boss is the speed of the team."

–Lee Iacocca

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week


    No Free Lunch: How Often Do You Eat at Your Desk?

    • 39 percent of workers say they eat lunch at their desk every day of the week.
    • 3-4 times a week: 18 percent
    • 1-2 times a week: 43 percent 


    • Working off the Clock – Alro Steel FLSA Overtime Pay Lawsuit May 30, 2022

      Federal Court Orders Notice to Alro Steel Employees in Nationwide Overtime Lawsuit

      Blanchard & Walker sent the court approved notice to 2500+ Alro Steel employees who may have a right to seek recover for off-the-clock uncompensated time at Alro Steel facilities throughout the country. Federal District Court Judge Murphy for the Eastern District of Michigan, granted conditional certification and ordered notice of FLSA rights to opt-in for current and former warehouse employees of Alro Steel Corporation. (more…)

    • The End of Forced Arbitration for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment March 8, 2022

      On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Act. This law is one significant step forward in the fight to end arbitration contracts that deny access to the Courts for violations of fundamental workplace rights.

      For far too long, countless survivors, workers, and consumers have been silenced by forced arbitration. (more…)


      News Update: Promised Waivers fall short.  According to recent reporting, the waiver program was much smaller than promised.  Although waivers for 55,000 more claimants is a good step forward, it fell short of the 382,000 promised and as of May 12, 2022 there is still no explanation about when or if more will be coming.