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Articles by Joel Robitaille

Should You Hire for Culture over Skills?

In his Harvard Business Review blog, Alan Lewis wrote an article titled, How My Company Hires for Culture First, Skills Second. Lewis raises an interesting question: Should managers prioritize their company’s culture over skill in the hiring process?

Mats Play an Important Role in Laboratory Safety

Standing in the same spot for the large part of a nine hour shift taught me that mats matter. Since I was new to the position, I stood on a section of cardboard for a week until the company was able to provide me with one of those anti-fatigue mats.

Smile, Your Employees are Watching

My dogs are a great barometer when it comes to tension. At home, they don't have much to concern themselves about because my wife and I don't like to argue. But when we take them places where emotions can escalate, their behavior is a good indicator that the tension has reached an intolerable level. If dogs can be so affected by our moods and attitudes, think about the impact your disposition can have on your employees.

Spread the Worst Jobs Around

I think many of us have experienced, or at least witnessed, the passing of the torch to the new employee, where the worst jobs are passed from the previous occupier of the low position on the totem pole to the next. Or perhaps many of us have seen ma

3 Ways to Show You Have Your Employees' Backs

The old saying, When the cat's away, the mice will play, rings all too true for many a manager. Wouldn't it be great if you could always trust every employee to be just as productive when your back is turned? There is something you can do to help.

10 Point Yearly Safety Checklist

When my skills at organization begin to breakdown, I know its time to create a checklist. I find checklists offer a simple solution to restoring control and then staying on track. Safety checklists in the lab are a work in progress, but as long as yo

Selective Silence as a Management Tool

Bob Artner of TechRepublic defines selective silence as a deliberate policy of occasionally being quiet, and allowing the other person to talk, in fact, forcing that person to talk. When used strategically, silence can have more impact than raising your voice.

The Biggest Annoyance in the Workplace

Before you were a manager, what bothered you in the workplace more than anything? For me, it was the habitual complainers or those took no pride in their work. Even your most devoted and motivated employees can get ticked off, and many times manageme