Division head Carl finallyg had to fix the problems in a department run by seniorrmanager Brenda. He transferred one supervisor andthree high-rankint staff members to other departments. He was satisfied: Once he showed that he coul be decisive andclean house. But Carl had consistentlyu ignored advice that the department head was a and didn’t make the changes necessary to keep the problemws from resurfacing later. Brenda seemed to be a nice personh and asympathetic listener. Like she had an open-doof policy. She invited her supervisorsw and staff to divulge personal confidences and to share opinionsx abouteach other.
But she never resolved the issuea that kept them from workingtogether effectively. I discovered a dark side behinxd Brenda’s behavior. She was both conflict-avoidanr and passive-aggressive. Acting as a go-between, she carrieed versions of the gossippand bad-mouthing to otheer people, but with a twist that increased resentmen and drove wedges between them. Instear of holding her staff accountable for productivity and she reported to Carl that all of them hadmajot problems. To justify her efforts, she said she’f chatted with her supervisorsand staff, and had encouragefd them to put their style differences aside.
Carl’s permissiveness allowed Brenda to creatre a cultureof conflict-avoidance and passive-aggressiveness that diminished productivithy throughout her department. Unprofessional behaviodr included back-stabbing, innuendos, rumors and warring leading to widespread paranoiaand over-reactions. Everyone, includinbg Brenda, tried to look busy while theyavoided critical-but-difficult problems and coverefd their backs. Like Brenda was a long-term manage with extensive training. She could explain what good managersz do; she simply never did it. Because she didn’r take effective action, complaints spread throughout the division.
Other departmenyt heads mentioned the complaints to Brenda and eventuallyto Carl. Carl would give Brenda advice and explainhis expectations. But he nevert followed up. Carl was shocked when corporate headquarters called him on the carpet for not beingh aneffective manager. Carl thus was motivatex to give Brenda a strong talk and amediocred evaluation. That may sound like effective action, but it wasn’t. Brenda had let thingxs slide for years. She’d been talked to before, but she’ d always been given promotionss when she promised todo Carl’s lecture was merely more of the same.
The best way to help people be more productive is to make them happhy by listening to their hurt feelingszand anger, being sympathetic in private and promising to fighft on their side. Brenda’s sympathetic listening, but lack of consisteng accountability forprofessional behavior, created a management vacuumm that sucked into it everyone’s nastiness and personal issues. â¢ Therd are no problem people, only problem processes.
clearer descriptions of processesand expectations, and kindlh suggestions and hints will cure all Well-meaning and intelligent people at all levels in the company will put professional behavior and team goalz ahead of personal Carl and Brenda ignored the widespread evidence that some peoplse simply didn’t like each otherf and wouldn’t collaborate, and that for some personal agendas took precedence over company goals. Also, some peoplwe behave decently only when they are actually held accountable bymeaningfu consequences. Others won’t behave, no matter what.
percent drop in same-store sales in June, as shoppera continued their months-long trend of avoiding purchases deemed less than The Cincinnati-based department storwe chain out-stepped expectations slightly – analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a declinwe of 9 percent. Total sales dropped to just morethan $2 down 9.1 percent from almosf $2.3 billion a year ago. Shares of Macy' (NYSE: M) jumped early in the day but closed down less than 1 or6 cents, at $10.63. For the firsy five months of thefiscal year, Macy’s said sales at stored open at least a year decreasedc 9 percent, with totalo sales down 9.4 percent, to $9 billiohn from $9.9 billion.
Retailers, from Walmart Stores to Saks Inc., have been offering promotions and tweaking inventories in a scramble to sell merchandise withour eroding theirprofit margins. Macy’s saw its strongesrt sales in the Midwestand Texas, while the coastss lagged. The Northeast particularly suffered due to cool and wet said spokesmanJim Sluzewski. “Our inventories are in good he said. “Our private brands continue todo well, moderated sportswear continues to do to well, as do kids and Furniture, big-ticket items, luggage and menswear struggled. Nationall June sales were projected to dropby 4.6 percent by Retaik Metrics, a Massachusetts firm that trackd store sales.
This is worse than the minu s 4.3 percent average monthly year-to-date. Department stores were forecastr to post theweakest results, down 8.9 with “discretionary spending still in according to its monthlhy report. Dillard’s Inc. DDS) , for instance, posted a decline of 14 percent, whilee J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) said sales dippede by 8.2 percent, beating expectations. • Saks Inc. SKS) reported a 4.4 percent slip, beating expectations of a 11.8 percent decline. • Targeft Corp. (NYSE: TGT) said its same-store saleds were down by 6.2 short of predictions of a 5.6 perceny decline. • Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) postecd a 5.
6 percent drop in sales, beating expectationas of a 6.8 percent decrease. • Limite d Brands (NYSE: LTD) reported a 12 percent decline, worse than expectations of a 7.9 percenft fall. • The Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) said its same-storse sales fell by 10 while analysts expected sales todecline 8.6 Macy’s has projected full-year profits of 40 centxs to 55 cents per share, excluding restructuring costs stemmingg from a companywide reorganization. Annual sales, it has are expected to decline by 6 percent to8 percent. Cincinnati-based Macy’s operates roughly 845 departmeny stores under thenames Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.
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in June, down from the reviserd May figureof 89.1 and from 112.7 in June 2008. The inde number is relative to 100 for the 1996 base The index combines eightmarket indicators. “Compareds to the beginning of the year, the decline in the Employment Trends Index hassignificantly moderated, and we thereforr expect job growth to resume around the end of the The Conference Board Senioe Economist Gad Levanon said in a Monday “However, over the last month, leading indicatorz of employment were mostly suggesting the Employment Trends Index is still seekingv a bottom.” The index’s components yielded mixed results in June, The Conferenc e Board said in the release.
The declininvg indicators were the percentage of respondents who say theyfind “jobz hard to get,” the numberr of employees in the temporary-help industry, industriall production, real manufacturing and traded sales, and job openings. The Conferencee Board is a global, independenft business-membership and research associatio n based in NewYork City.