Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

Budding Talent: Why Now’s the Time to Promote Your Best Workers

Promoting Your Best Workers

This past weekend, I had a delicious bowl of New England clam chowder at a friend’s house, where we sat on the patio, six feet apart. In year’s past, I wouldn’t have given a moment like this a second thought. However, this year is anything but ordinary.

For the first time in months, I felt normal.

To me, it was a sign that we are finally coming out of the pandemic phase and entering what’s being referred to as the “new normal.”

Many of you are turning your attention to reopening your businesses and rethinking your staffing needs, as you seek to define your new normal.

With that in mind, here’s an excerpt from my newest book, Evergreen Talent.

I’ve chosen to share a section on a topic that is near and dear to me (and a whole lot of other people as well)–Promotions.

Here’s the excerpt:

I bet there are a bunch of people in your own organization who are about to blossom. Then why do so many companies look to the outside when filling jobs, when talent is right under their noses?

This phenomenon happens for a number of reasons, including outdated personnel policies and office politics. Let’s start with outdated policies.

Many companies have policies stating that an employee must be in his or her job for at least six months before being eligible for a promotion or a transfer.

If you’ve got an employee who is ready to advance or to try something new, then let them—or someone else will! In fact, yesterday I was talking with a CEO about this. We were discussing how tight the labor market is for entry-level café workers. He’s identified several companies that are making aggressive attempts to poach his workers. He’s being proactive in his attempts to ward them off.

Managers are now required to have conversations every thirty days with their employees regarding performance and future opportunities with the company. When necessary, they accelerate the promotion schedule they typically follow. Workers are encouraged to follow their passions. Employees can try out jobs in other departments before committing to a new career path. They can also return to their original roles, should they decide they were happier where they were.

Office politics is a known killer of budding talent. This occurs when leaders put themselves before their people.

For example, a leader discourages an employee from considering an opportunity elsewhere in the organization because she doesn’t want to lose an employee who makes her look good. Or a manager does nothing to help his employee land a new position in another department because he feels threatened by that leader.

Remember: If you don’t help your people grow, they’ll pull up stakes and go elsewhere.

Posted in Leadership, Management

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Achieve Fantastic Financial Performance Through Better Hiring Practices

Greater Financial Performance Through Better Hiring Practices

Let me offer four ideas that I think you’ll find to be of value. All will drive better financial performance, can be implemented with little effort on your part, and without a lot of investment.

1. Make it easy for candidates to apply for work with your company. Insert a banner (or at a minimum, some sort of link) on your homepage announcing that you are hiring. Or add an “About Us” tab at the top of your site, which should have a drop down for careers. By doing so, you’ll increase your applicant flow.

2. Make sure you’re not sending candidates elsewhere. Some of you may be using third-party recruitment sites as a way to collect resumes and may not be aware that some sites are sending the candidates you are hoping to hire, emails with dozens of other job choices. Many of these offers are more attractive than yours.

Don’t believe me? Just ask one of my CEO clients, who followed my advice and applied for a job with his own company. Much to his surprise, he started receiving some incredible job opportunities for similar roles that were far better than his. Had he not done this, he would never have known. Don’t let this happen to you.

Apply for a job with your own company and see where the trail ends.

3. Create a big splash with your employee referral program. Employee bonus programs are a great way to pull in talent, but most programs are best kept secrets. Consider doubling employee referral bonuses, for a limited period of time. Offer quarterly contests to keep the program top of mind (e.g., every time an employee makes a referral, their name gets entered into a drawing for a prize such as a gift certificate to one of the finest restaurants in town…one that now delivers). If resources are too tight to do this, offer an extra vacation day, that can be taken during non-peak times.

4. Put your hiring process on a diet. Cut out all the excess fat (e.g., three people having to interview each candidate, a bunch of approvals required before offer is extended, etc.) and give hiring managers the ability to extend offers within 24 hours of interviewing the ideal candidate.

This week’s challenge: Apply for a job with your own company and email me at to let me know how it goes. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my e-book, Selecting for Success: The Complete Guide to Hiring Talent. My guess is you’ll be quite surprised by the experience!

© Matuson Consulting, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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How Executives (Or Anyone Else) Can Bounce Back After Being Let Go

Over the past several weeks, millions of people have lost their jobs or were furloughed over the past several weeks.

My heart goes out to you if you’re one of these people.

Dealing with a job loss.
Dealing With a Job Loss

Looking for a job can feel very isolating, and that was before we were all asked to stay home. Now, more than ever, you need to know you’re not alone.

After 31 years of service, MetLife gave Snoopy his walking papers. The company decided to part with most of its U.S. life-insurance business and announced that Snoopy’s image would no longer be used on their blimp or in their marketing materials. No word yet regarding his participation in the Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Nor have we heard a peep from the Peanuts gang.

MetLife reps recently told the Wall Street Journal that the company is “going in a different direction.” As many seasoned workers can attest to, those words are often code for, “we are looking for fresh ideas and younger talent.”

Given that not even icon Snoopy is safe in his job, now is the time to prepare for the worst or what may be the best thing to happen to you in your career.

My Story

It’s been over 25 years since I was terminated from my dream job. Yet, I still remember the day like it was yesterday.

It was the early ’80s and I was living in Houston during the oil boom and bust. I worked hard to break into the oilfield industry and was anxious to make my mark. Alas that was not going to happen. Fourteen months into my job I heard the words, “We have to let you go.” I can’t tell you what was said after that, as I went into a free fall.

Like many, I was a victim of the economy. But that didn’t make me feel any better.

Here are some of the lessons I learned about bouncing back after being fired and how to land on your feet.

Don’t Look Back — You’re Not Going That Way

Hearing, “You’re fired,” or words that convey you’re no longer employed can knock the wind out of your sail. You think you’ll never find work again or have a job as good as the one you lost. I can say from experience that most likely this won’t be the case.

To move forward, you have to stop looking backwards.

Playing tapes in your head regarding how unfair this is will not change the outcome. Nor will commiserating with team members who are still employed.

Cut ties with former colleagues so you can avoid being dragged into their workplace drama and instead use this time to make new connections. You can certainly re-engage when you are gainfully re-employed.

Create A “Time Out For A Coffee” Campaign

Some things never change. The best way to find a job is still through people you know. So what do you do if you’ve let your network wither on the vine? You do what I tell my job search coaching clients to do.

You create a “Time Out for a Coffee” campaign. Here’s what this looks like.

Make a list of people you know who can connect you with someone who can hire you. Included in this list should be co-workers from former companies, those you attend church or synagogue with, parents of your kid’s friends and anyone else you come in contact with that would be open to making an introduction on your behalf.

Next start calling people on this list and invite them to meet for a virtual coffee so the two of you can catch up. (Note: this is good to do even if you are employed, as you never know when you’ll need to tap into your network.) Try to line up a minimum of three coffees a week. Don’t punish yourself, if you are only able to set up one or two.

Here’s how to kick off the conversation. I suggest five minutes exchanging pleasantries. Listen keenly to ways you may be able to help this person. For example, suppose the person you’re meeting with tells you his son is considering the same college your son is attending. Offering to put his son in touch with your child would be a generous and welcome offer and will set the stage nicely for you to ask for something in return.

Make It Easy For People To Refer You

Be succinct when explaining your current situation and let people know specifically what kind of position you are seeking. Ask if they’d be willing to introduce you to two or three people who would appreciate the value that you can bring to an organization. If no one comes to mind, suggest a few people. (You can come up with these names by looking at their LinkedIn connections prior to your meeting.)

Give people choices. Tell them you’d be happy to send them an introduction they can use to make it easier for them or if they prefer, you can simply use their name when calling.

Beef Up Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re like Snoopy and it’s been years since you’ve had to look for a job, you probably aren’t aware of the important role LinkedIn is playing today in the hiring arena. Managers and recruiters are mining LinkedIn profiles daily in search of talent. (Yes, companies are still hiring!)

When doing so, they are searching using keywords. Keywords are the search terms they are using to identify qualified candidates. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t contain the keywords a recruiter is using, your profile will never surface.

You can identify appropriate keywords by looking at job postings in your field. If you look at enough postings, you’ll soon notice a pattern. For example, if you see Microsoft and Excel in most postings, you’ll want to be sure to include these words in your LinkedIn profile.

Let Your Support System Help

Snoopy is lucky. He has the Peanuts Gang for support until another company is willing to throw him a bone. My advice to him and you is to permit others to be of help. No doubt, sometime in the future you’ll find yourself in the position of being able to return the favor.

Are you an executive interested in accelerating your job search? Contact me at to discuss how we might work together.

Note: If you reside outside of North America, you’ll want to hire a coach who is familiar with your local market.

Posted in Coaching, Job Searching, Layoffs
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Dealing With Difficult Employees: Can’t We Just Put Them in Time Out?

Managing Difficult Employees Virtually – Yikes!

The following is an excerpt from Suddenly in Charge, which is being featured on Amazon this month. Downloads are available for only $1.99.

Ask managers what they dislike most about their jobs and the majority will say, dealing with problem employees. Problem employees are a fact of life so the sooner you learn how to deal with them, the easier your job will be.

But wait, you may be thinking that if I do what you say, hire right, I’m not going to have to worry about this.

Over time, people and circumstances change. Consider people you know, who have gone through life-changing events.

For example, can you think of someone who’s personality shifted dramatically as they were caring for an aging parent or while they were going through a divorce?

Or what about an employee who seemed to be the perfect employee, until his salary was frozen?

It’s best to be prepared for anything and everything. The worst that can happen is that you will never need these skills.

But like a fire drill, isn’t it best to know where all the emergency exits are located, even if it’s only one time that you need to use this information?

Here’s what I see happening all the time. Managers (or anyone else for that matter) don’t like conflict so they do everything they can think of to avoid dealing with the situation.

Most of the time, doing nothing is the worst thing you can do as workplace situations get worse when left unattended.

Make sure your managers are skilled at holding difficult conversations, as this part of their job isn’t going away any time soon.

Dealing with a difficult employee is one of biggest challenges for managers. Now imagine being a first-time leader, who is now suddenly forced to manage this situation virtually!

Leaders choosing to ignore tough conversations until life gets back to normal will find that this is a huge mistake.

Of course, they’ll discover this after the situation has come back to bite them as well as the organization. You can prevent that from happening to you. Here’s how:

90-day Coaching Program for new leaders who are suddenly in charge of a virtual workforce:

I’m asking myself how I can be of service, during this crisis, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

I’m introducing a 90-day coaching program, for new leaders who are suddenly in charge of a virtual workforce. We know how stressful management can be under normal circumstances. Now, imagine if you’re new to management and all of a sudden the support system of having your boss near by or easily accessible is no longer there. 

Want more information? Email me at

I’m pricing this so it’s affordable for everyone. $595 per participant. That’s only $6.61 a day. To register, head over to my Quick Pay Page.

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Choosing People Over Profits

Choosing People Over Profits

How you treat your workforce during a crisis will be remembered long after the crisis is over. With that in mind, choose people over profits.

Besides this being the right thing to do, you’ll also create employee loyalty that others can only dream about.

If you’re there for your people when they need you most, they’ll be there for you, through thick and thin.

Consider what you can do to ease people’s worries during times of crisis.

  • Send an Amazon gift card, along with a note telling your workers you are thinking of them during these trying times.
  • Issue partial year-end bonuses today, based on the achievement of goals through the first quarter of the year.
  • Or follow the lead of today’s Crisis Super Hero, Jim Fish.

Let me introduce you to the first, of what I hope will be many, Crisis Super Heroes.

Crisis Super Hero, Jim Fish, CEO of Waste Management

Jim Fish, CEO of Waste Management says his company will continue to pay employees for a 40-hour workweek, regardless of whether or not their hours or cut or curtailed during this crisis. The policy will continue indefinitely.

“I sure hope this thing doesn’t go on for two years. But honestly if it did, I’d tell you that 40-hour guarantee becomes increasingly valuable the farther out you go. ”Replacing people is expensive, running up to $20,000 when a Waste Management employee quits. “So purely from an economic standpoint, I’d still tell you it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

We need more super heroes. Who would you nominate as the next Crisis Super Hero and why?

Need support leading your team through this crisis? I’m here to help.

90-Day Coaching: I’ll share best practices and help you with both professional and personal issues with a weekly call and unrestricted email. This unique offering is intended to help you navigate through these choppy waters and chart a course for smooth sailing ahead. I’m limiting the number of slots to 10 so that I can provide as much support as needed to you while continuing to care for my loyal clients. Write to me at to sign up: $2,500.

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Keeping Remote Workers Engaged During Tumultuous Times

How to manage remote workers and keep them engaged during times of crisis
Engaging Remote Workers

It’s the year 2020, and there are still leaders who’ve never managed a remote workforce–until now. The number of companies asking employees to work from home, due to the Coronavirus scare, is multiplying faster than the actual virus.

Here’s how to keep remote employees engaged and productive during these tumultuous times.

Give people control. Telling everyone they must work from home in most situations does not make sense. Here’s why. There will be people who have to work from the office (mailroom employees, the team in charge of keeping the IT infrastructure intact, etc.) who will feel more anxious if they’re told they have to work from home when they know they can’t.

Instead, tell people to work from home if they’re able to and more comfortable doing so. Then be sure those who are working from home have the equipment and tools needed to be productive.

Don’t make assumptions. Don’t assume because you know how to use online video conferencing tools like Zoom, that everyone else in the office knows how to use these tools. Ask a member of your IT team or someone in the office who is a pro at using remote collaboration tools, to host a webinar and invite employees to attend. Record the webinar so that people can refer back to it, should they need to do so.

Be flexible. The workers you’re sending home have lives that may not be conducive to working remotely. They might have kids who’ve been sent home from daycare or school, or a spouse who works remotely. Be less concerned about the hours they work and more concerned about the results.

Check-in with your people regularly. Pick up the phone and ask your team members how they’re doing and what you can do to support them. Offer to extend deadlines, if doing so will lessen the stress they’re feeling trying to balance your needs and that of their family.

Be generous. As someone who has worked from home, while raising two young children, I can tell you from personal experience how far small gestures go. Send your employee an Amazon gift card, with a note telling them to use the card to purchase supplies or groceries or even a new toy to keep the kids entertained. Better yet, ask them to go onto Uber Eats or Grub Hub and place a dinner order on you.

Be transparent. No doubt, you’ll be asked questions that you either don’t know the answer to or are unable to answer. People expect leaders to lead with openness and not withhold information that could help further understanding of the issue. What they don’t expect is for leaders to have all the answers. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know” or “I’m unable to provide you with an answer at this point.” 

Reassure employees. Right now, it feels like the sky is falling, but this too shall pass. Your employees are counting on you to stay strong. Feeding into their anxiety will only make matters worse. Allow employees to express what’s on their mind and acknowledge their feelings. Then try to shift the conversation to something they can control, like the quality of their work.

©Matuson Consulting, 2020.

In the spirit of generosity, if you’ve got a question about keeping employees engaged during this time of uncertainty, email me at, and I’ll gladly answer your question.

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How to Get Noticed at Work

Talent hidden in plain sight. NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson at the 89th Annual Academy Awards

The world lost a treasured talent earlier this week with the passing of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. Johnson’s story was featured in the movie, “Hidden Figures.”

I remember watching that film and thinking, “Why didn’t I know about Katherine Johnson and her female African American colleagues, who were an intricate part of the U.S. space program?”

These talented people were hidden in plain sight.

Are you hidden as well?

Did the promotion you were gunning for go to someone else?

Were they more qualified than you or did they just do a better job of getting the word out about their accomplishments? My guess is the latter.

Several years ago, I was facilitating a session on Executive Presence for Women at a large well-known tech company. I remember how uncomfortable many of these women were when I mentioned self-promotion. A few were downright belligerent when I brought up the topic.

That was until one of their managers said the following:

“Do you know how often your male counterparts come to me each week asking me for a promotion? Yet, none of you ever do this? Who do you think will be top of mind when a promotion becomes available?”

The topic of tooting your own horn in a sea of cubicles to be heard is so important, that I’ve dedicated an entire chapter to this topic in the Amazon bestseller, Suddenly in Charge.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the book:

Let’s talk about ways you can toot your horn so your work is noticed now that you a better sense of why it’s in your best interest to master the art of strategic bragging and you’ve taken the time to determine your unique value proposition.

1. Story telling – Everyone loves a story, particularly a good story. Think about how you can incorporate what you’d like to brag about in a story. For example, when I completed my MBA, I quit my job and traveled around the world by myself for an entire year. I had some amazing experiences along the way. There, I just used strategic bragging to tell you about three things in my life without boasting. You now know I have an MBA, that I’m a world traveler, who has experienced many cultures first-hand, and that I’m a risk-taker. Much more interesting than if I had simply told you those three items.

I told this story when I was applying for a position as an HR Director in an organization with a very diverse workforce. The hiring manager, who eventually became my boss, was impressed that I was able to easily relate to people from different nationalities, as it was likely that I had spent time in their country at some point in my travels. He also perceived me as a risk-taker and a real go-getter, which were traits highly valued in the organization that I eventually went to work for.

2. Deliver with confidence – It’s all about the delivery. Have you ever noticed how some people look down while they are talking about themselves or their voice suddenly becomes hard to hear? Conviction and confidence are vital when you are promoting yourself. After all, if you don’t believe what you are saying what makes you think others will believe?

This may take some practice. Fortunately the price of video cameras has come down dramatically. Buy yourself a Flip Video camera and have someone tape you as you deliver your story. Then play it back. How well did you project your voice? Did you come across as believable? Did you maintain eye contact when you got to the most boastful part of your story? Keep practicing until your delivery matches the excellence of your story.

3. Create a bucket of boastful moments – It’s hard to remember all those great things you’ve accomplished, particularly as you get older and add more items to the list. That’s why I recommend keeping a bucket list on your computer. This way you can easily retrieve stories when you need them.

For example, suppose you are going to be driving to a conference with your boss and the VP of your division. What would you like the VP to know about you that she may not be aware of? Is there something you can naturally throw into the conversation that would put you in a good light, on route to the meeting? For example, suppose the conference you are attending is on the use of social media. Do you have examples of how you have successfully used social media to build community? Perhaps you have done this with your son’s scout group. Or maybe you have been a expert blogger for a well known website like Fast Company. This certainly would be of interest, given the topic of the conference. And who knows, after the conference the VP may invite you to participate on the highly visible taskforce she is assembling to leverage social media and build profitability.

Are you your organization’s best kept secret? Would you rather be known for all the great things you do today or when you’re gone?

I help leaders go from invisible to highly visible in record time. Reach out to me at if you’re looking to lock in your next promotion.

#shamelesspromotion #talent #coaching #katherinejohnson #executivecoaching #careersuccess

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Why Leaders Need to Think Beyond Employee Engagement and Woo Employees Every Day

Employee Engagement is not a program. Employee Engagement is an Outcome.

Once a year, employee engagement is all the rage as companies gear up for the annual employee survey, which often happens right about now. February is also that time of year when red roses sell out and boxes of chocolates abound.

If nothing else, Valentine’s Day is a reminder that everyone needs to feel loved, including your employees. 

That makes this the perfect time of the year to think beyond employee engagement and start wooing workers who are the heart and soul of your business.

Gallup polls keep indicating that the majority of employees report they were “not engaged” at work.

Surely we can do a better job of engaging employees. Here’s how:

Deliver on Sweet Dreams

Sweet dreams can turn into nightmares for workers who feel the luster of their job quickly tarnishing. Ask each of your workers the following question.

“What were your hopes and dreams when you took this job?”

By doing so, you’ll gain insight as to how to best keep each employee engaged.

The mere idea that someone is truly concerned about your welfare is often enough to spark a renewed feeling of mutual admiration. Then be prepared to take action. 

If your employee feels their hopes and dreams are no longer a reality, go the extra step and ask why. Then do what you can to have them fall in love with their job again.

Celebrate your Workers on a Daily Basis

It takes a lot of work to keep a relationship fresh and healthy. What it doesn’t take is a lot of money.

Make it a point every day to re-recruit your employees. Stop by your employee’s desk and thank him or her for a job well done. In doing so, be sure to be specific about what work you’re applauding. This way they will be able to repeat this great feat time and time again.

Those of you with large departments should make it a point to buy a different employee each day a cup of coffee or a tea. If time permits, take a walk with them to your local coffee shop and spend some alone time to hear how they are doing. Be consistent so no one feels left out. It’s time well spent. 

Be Demonstrative with your Appreciation

Engaged workers are those who will go above and beyond the call of duty and expect nothing in return. That’s exactly why you should show some love the moment the feeling strikes. 

For example, suppose you have an employee who volunteered to work the weekend in order to meet a rapidly approaching deadline. You know this employee is a real movie buff.

Instead of simply saying, “Thanks for coming in this weekend,” and walking away, provide this employee with movie passes to the local cinema. If the timing is right, give them the rest of the day off so they can attend a matinee. 

Whatever you do, make it personal.

Giving an employee tickets for tonight’s basketball game may do little to impress them, especially if they aren’t a sports fan or they have a newborn at home that requires a babysitter. In this situation, you (and them) would be better served with a gift certificate to a local restaurant that happens to dish up great meals and delivers!

Listen More than You Speak

How good are your listening skills?

If you’ve ever been in a relationship where the other person does most of the talking, you know what it’s like to never feel heard.

This scenario seems to play out a lot in today’s workplace. The manageroften ends up doing all the talking and the employee does the listening. 

Today’s workers want a voice in how their work gets done. When an employee offers a suggestion, thank them for their idea and then take time to consider their recommendation. If you are unable to implement their idea, let them know why and encourage them to continue to suggest new ways of approaching work.

In meetings, let someone else take the lead. Make it a point to be the last person in the room to speak, so that others feel comfortable sharing their ideas freely. 

Make People Feel Special

In an effort to be fair, many companies treat people the same. While their intentions may be good, the results can quickly shift an engaged workforce to the dark side of employee engagement — a world of disgruntled disengagement. 

Equal isn’t always fair. Think about the superstars in your organization that are doing the lion’s share of the work. Is it fair when they receive the same raise as those who are barely contributing? Should your “A players” be required to work in the office every day, along with everyone else, because you don’t trust your “B” players to perform unless they are closely monitored?

Don’t be afraid to treat your best employees a little differently. Those who perform should be assigned plum projects and be given access to development opportunities. This will help increase employee commitment among those employees you wish to keep.

Wooing employees shouldn’t be an idea that is reserved for special holidays like Valentine’s Day or certain times of the year. By showing your love all year long, it won’t be long before you have engaged the hearts and minds of your people — as well as your customers.

©Matuson Consulting, 2020

Ready to talk talent? Schedule a call with me. Email me at to get started.

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A Leader’s Guide to Managing Up in the Top Down World of Business

Leader Managing Up
Leader Managing Up

In the past month, I’ve had a bunch of leaders reach out to me for help in managing their boss. Seems like managing up is a common challenge among leaders. Here’s some helpful tips to guide you, as you look to manage up in the top down world of business.

It may seem unnatural to manage those above you in the top-down world of business. But mastering this skill is exactly what must be done to excel in any organization.

There will always be “a boss,” even if someone is currently an entrepreneur. Someone above will always be influencing us. This person may be a spouse, partner, an outside investor, or may actually be the boss.

It’s critical that we learn how to manage these relationships effectively, so we can secure the resources necessary to be successful in any situation. Here are seven tips to help you manage up in the top down world of business.

  1. Decode your boss’s management style. I’ve yet to see a situation where a boss molds his style to that of his employees. You can be certain you will be the one doing the adjusting. Start by observing how your manager uses authority, the way he relates to others, and his communication style as a leader. Most bosses typically fall into one of the following categories: Dictatorial, Laissez-faire, Bureaucratic, or Consultative. Once you determine the type of manager you’ve been handed, you can then study ways to work most effectively with this type of leader.
  2. Prepare to play the game of politics. Politics is played in every organization; so the sooner you learn how to play this game, the better off you’ll be. Politics is the informal way that things get done in an organization. Pay close attention to how work really gets done in the organization. People who master this game follow unwritten rules that allow them to maneuver swiftly through the organization to obtain scarce resources, approval of prized projects and promotions. Can you see now why it’s important to master this game?
  3. Master the art of influencing. Influencing is communicating effectively with a goal in mind. Be specific in your request while highlighting why it’s in your boss’ best interest to comply with your request, and you will be on your way to mastering the art of influence.
  4. Toot your own horn. For years we’ve been taught that it’s not polite to brag. But if we don’t, how will others know about our contributions? When companies put together lay-off lists, they exclude those whose contributions are well known throughout the organization. You may be the best singer in the room, but no one will know this if you never open your mouth.
  5. Manage your own performance. Bosses are busy people and most would rather walk on hot coals than write a performance review. Prepare your own review, which should include ways you’ve added value to the organization as well as areas needing further development. Present this to your boss a week prior to your review, and don’t be surprised if what you get back closely resembles what you’ve submitted.
  6. Hire a mentor or a coach. Every star player uses a mentor or a coach to help them improve their game. Find someone who is willing to hold up the mirror for you so that you can clearly see what your boss is seeing. Then adjust your style accordingly.
  7. Attach your star carefully. You never want to be so closely associated with your boss that you find yourself on the outskirts the moment she is no longer in favor. Be your own person so others know you are more than someone’s sidekick.

© Matuson Consulting, 2020.

To learn more about managing up, download a copy of my book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around.

Send me a private message at to explore what a VIP day for you, looks like with me. I’ll be offering just seven of these sessions this year, and three are already gone.

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Research Says This is the Secret to Employee Retention

Employee Retention

Anyone else notice the uptick in new job announcements here on LinkedIn? And it’s only January 3rd! In years past, people would begin to look for new opportunities after year-end reviews were in and bonuses paid out.

This is no longer the case, which is why you should always be in retaining mode.

As a manager, you don’t have control over company policy or pay increases. However, you do have control over yourself and the way you manage people—or do you?

Research shows that one of the real secrets to employee happiness and well being, which is directly linked to employee turnover, is an acute sense of autonomy in daily operations.

The Research

Researchers from the University of Birmingham recently studied two years’ worth of data on 20,000 workers to determine the effects of autonomy on employee morale and well being. Generally, the higher levels of independence a worker experienced, the higher their sense of job satisfaction and well being.

Here’s what’s meant by autonomy

Decision-making-Employees can make decisions on their own without having to “run things up the ladder” or get approval from a committee. These decisions are not regularly overturned or tweaked to death by their boss. This makes workers feel more in control over their responsibilities and leaves them with a feeling of job satisfaction.

Trust-Micromanagement is about trust, or shall I say lack of trust. It’s a nasty habit that has a grave impact on both the employee and their manager. Micromanagement leaves people feeling small and inept. Autonomy sends the message that you trust your people to accomplish their goals.

Contributing ideas. When employees feel like their ideas and contributions matter, they’re willing to contribute more frequently, and with more effort. They leave work most days, feeling satisfied with their contribution.

Three steps to nip this nasty habit

Step One: Admit you’ve got a problem. The last person to know they’ve got a problem is usually the person with the problem. That’s why it can be helpful to have someone do a 360 review of your management style. You may not like everything you hear, but at least you’ll know what area to focus on that will yield the highest return.

Step Two: Vow to make a change. It takes courage to let others know that you recognize you’re less than perfect. Let team members know that you are working on breaking this habit and that you’ll be asking for their help. Give them permission to signal you the moment they feel micromanaged.

Step Three: Be patient. Habits are hard to break. It can take months to turn things around. Expect setbacks along the way and celebrate successes.

© Matuson Consulting, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Questions about how to become a better leader and reduce unwanted attrition? Reach out to me at or leave a comment below.

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