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Previous Manager Forums Resources

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Introduction to Compensation Essentials for Today's and Tomorrow's Needs

In our May Manager Forum, facilitators Gina Argus, Assistant Vice President of Total Rewards, and Heidi Mukamal, Director of Staff Compensation from University Human Resources, led a session on managers' evolving needs in understanding and applying Stanford's Non-Academic Staff Compensation Program. Gina and Heidi shared how their team partners with school/unit Human Resources leaders to support manager needs and addressed the challenges of balancing the objectives of the compensation philosophy. Managers were also provided with tips on having compensation conversations.

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Leaders as Trustees of Others' Time

In our April Manager Forum discussion, facilitator Robert Sutton, Organizational Psychologist and Professor of Management Science and Engineering, led a session on Leaders as Trustees of Others' Time, which he described as part therapy and part organizational design. Bob discussed highlights from "The Friction Project," his new book with Graduate School of Business Professor Hayagreeva (Huggy) Rao. Their main insight was that skilled leaders and friction fixers, trustees of others' time who are bent on making the right things easier and the wrong things harder for others, and adept at helping them to move fast AND to slow down.

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Decoding the Unwritten Rules of Career Advancement

In our March Manager Forum discussion, facilitators Lori Nishiura Mackenzie, co-founder of Stanford VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab, and Davina Drabkin, Learning & Development Manager for University HR Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, led you through the unwritten rules of work, the importance of stretch assignments, and how to have developmental conversations to increase your managerial skills and create conditions where your employees can grow and thrive. 

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Think Faster, Act Smarter

In our first Manager Forum discussion of 2024, Matt Abrahams, Stanford Graduate School of Business Lecturer, presented best practices and frameworks for sharing feedback to guide others, achieve short-term results, improve relationships, and drive engagement. 

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What Really Matters

In the last session for 2023, heading into the season of celebration and gratitude, Dr. Jennifer Aaker, General Atlantic Partners Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, shared the recipe for a meaningful life and its five key ingredients – boldness, authenticity, presence, humor, and love. Attendees learned tangible lessons on integrating these ingredients into the workplace to build more innovative, collaborative, and joyful work experiences, and forge stronger relationships.

View the session slide deck and resource document

Foundations to Support a Neurodiverse Team

In the October 2024 session, we introduced the foundational principles we can adopt as people managers to increase understanding and awareness of our neurodiverse teams. Neurodiverse variations have played a central role in the development of human society, yet have been historically misunderstood and marginalized. Increasing acceptance of neuro differences will allow for a better employee experience for all.

View the session's slide deck and resource list

Developing Self and Others

When leaders invest in their staff's growth opportunities by building strong relationships, regularly creating learning opportunities, and allowing them to pursue development experiences, it improves retention and increases workplace productivity and creativity. Attendees learned and shared tips on different ways you can approach developmental opportunities for your staff and yourself. 

The discussion was moderated by Enrique Caballero, Executive Director of Human Resources at the GSB, with participation from Rajkumar Chellaraj and Steve Olson, Senior Associate Deans at the GSB and H&S, and Sumitra Krishnan, AVP of HR Community in UHR.

View the Developing Self and Others slides

Team Performance — Being at the Top of Our Game

In the August 2023 session, we learned tips on how to set up your teams for success as we launch into another year from Chris Irwin who holds international experience in communications, executive development, and management consulting, and is currently the program director for leadership development at the Faculty of Health at York University in Toronto. We covered how to recognize your team’s progress, provide support through challenging times, and steer the ship toward common goals to achieve sustained high performance over time.

Read a summary of the Manager Forum from Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023.

Team Engagement

In our June 2023 session, two human resources leaders shared information and perspectives about how teams work, why it's so important to keep team members engaged, and some of the simple approaches and tools managers can take to increase team engagement. A perspective about teams and how they function was shared by Angela Young from the School of Engineering. Links to resources are in the slides.

View the Team Engagement slides

Flexible Work: Moving Beyond Schedule and Place

In the April 2023 session, Workplace Experience experts shared how to frame our evolving workplace, results from the Fall 2022 flexible work survey, and tips to work in ways that support a "multi-modal" workplace.

View the Flexible Work slides

Compensation 101

In the March 2023 session, Staff Compensation experts shared about the components of total rewards, how pay administration works, how salary surveying takes place, how to work with your local human resources/compensation contacts, and much more.

View the Compensation 101 slides

Manager Forums in 2023 and the BeWell program as a tool to foster engagement, retention, and a culture of caring

In the February 2023 session, a review of how Manager Forums have evolved since their inception in 2020 was shared, along with key feedback from a manager survey done in late 2022. The list of planned topics for 2023 was also shared. 

View the slides about Manager Forums

A review of the BeWell program and how managers can engage with BeWell with their teams was done. topics included were how to create a Culture of Care in your workgroup and the role of the manager as a wellness advocate, and how to leverage BeWell's offerings. A demonstration of the BeWell portal was also done. Discussion also included upcoming wellness events, how the points system works, the mobile app, and how employees can use BeWell, whether they work remotely, hybrid, or on-site. Lastly, how to get support or request BeWell sessions for workgroups was also addressed.

View the BeWell slides

Compassion and Gratitude: In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

Guest leader Lakiba Pittman shared the impact that gratitude and compassion for others can make in the workplace, and her tips to take a moment to recognize the good while in the midst of "everything going on." View her slides and a summary of the forum.

View the resources

Visualize your workplace relationships in a new way

Stanford adjunct professor BJ Fogg shares insights from his research, including a new way to visualize your workplace relationships, especially important network relationships that may have been weakened during the pandemic. If you were to make a list of the people in your work universe, who would be on it? 

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Leading Teams with Creative Workplace Rituals

Many have come back to work this new year with feelings of uncertainty, concern, and burnout lingering from the 2021 year. The methods for using creative rituals that Professor Kursat discusses can help you boost engagement, improve retention, and build shared values within your team, which can provide a foundation to achieving common goals.  

View the discussion and resources available


Navigating Challenging Discussions

Colorful speech bubbles around each other

Setting expectations for a return to working on-site more frequently and consistently is a common topic these days. In this forum, we help you prepare for productive interactions and share key support resources to help you lead challenging discussions, such as return to on-site and a variety of other work conversations—new work policies, behavior, performance, or a workplace conflict. 

View the discussion and resources available


the text "the happiness lab" in the shape of a smiley face

Fall quarter is a busy time, especially this year when we are continuing to navigate supporting our teams through ambiguity and uncertainty. Knowing this, the podcast, The Happiness Lab: Laurie Gets a Fun-tervention helps us explore opportunities to bring more fun to our work and leisure

View the discussion and resources available

Navigating continued ambiguity: Resources to help you and your team

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Representatives from various Stanford programs share an overview of their resources and how they can help support you and your team during this period of continued ambiguity and uncertainty, during which our teams and we may experience a wide range of responses.

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Flexible Work: What you need to know as a manager

Stanford Oval

Representatives from the Flexible Work Committee and Workstreams discuss how university leaders believe there’s an opportunity to rethink how we work to create a better future, and dive into the new Flexible Work Manager Playbook.

View the discussion and resources available

Avoid Employee Burnout: Promote a culture of wellness

Three stick figure people holding batteries with varying levels

A focus on what managers can do to help reduce stress, burnout and depression while creating a culture of health. 

Guest leader Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor at the Graduate School of Business

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LinkedIn Learning: Develop yourself, develop your team

Learning online or digital e-learning studying process tiny person concept

LinkedIn Learning guest leaders Cyndi Ramirez and Ryan Zervakos discuss how LinkedIn Learning can support your development and the development of your team, including a demonstration of this valuable learning resource.

View the discussion and resources available

Building Exceptional Relationships with Colleagues

Illustrations of people holding gears, "Manager Forums" written on the top left

A focus on building exceptional, meaningful, authentic and productive relationships that can improve teamwork and collaboration, increase productivity, and boost morale.

Guest leader David Bradford and Carole Robins from the Graduate School of Buisness

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Practicing Gratitude and Taking Care of Self

Person on the top of a hill during sunset

A focus on care for self, connection with others and contributions to the greater good. 

Guest leader Frederic Luskin, Lecturer, Health and Human Performance.

View the discussion and resources available

Managing Employees Working From Home

Woman working at her desk at home

A focus on remote management, including goal setting and 2-way communication and feedback. 

Guest leader Nicholas Bloom, Eberle Professor of Economics, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and Professor, by courtesy, of Economics at the Graduate School of Business.

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Enhancing Employee Engagement During Intense Workplace Disruption

Stanford Oval

A focus on employee engagement during times of continued workplace disruption, highlighting the new Enhancing the Level of Employee Engagement guide.

Guest leader Bob Sutton, Professor of Management Science & Engineering and, by courtesy, of Organization Behavior at the Graduate School of Business.

View the discussion and resources available