Thursday

Tricks Employees Will Use With Managers

Ever wanted to know whether an employee was lying to you about needing some time off for personal reasons, but they were really looking for time off to interview? Have you ever questioned what happened to some missing office supplies and had a feeling that your favorite employee really took them? The following tips will help you determine what kind of employee you really hired and what you need to do to get them to fly right or get out! Each employee has been categorized based on the concerns you may have had with him or her.

Mr. Time Off

He just came back from vacation and will be taking off again. He seems to spend more time away from work then at work. Then when he is at work he isn’t getting much done. You will need to find out if he has any hidden agendas. Too much time off in a span of thirty days spells trouble, particularly if he doesn’t have the accumulated time to take off. Think about whether he had shared any information with you about his personal life leading up to this need for time off. When is his wife expecting? Would his grandma need special treatment? Does his child need surgery? Also, consider how he reacted to any recent evaluations or warnings you may have given him. When you are ready to speak with him, don’t make any assumptions. Let him do the talking. If you can accommodate his schedule, provide him with more money, or work with him in other ways. Be prepared to do it, if you plan to keep him.

Mr. Closet Thief

Someone is in the supply closet again. It seems that Mr. Closet Thief has been in the supplies more often since the recent shipment arrived. Every month he has a request for what seems to be the same supplies, but you have noticed that they are nowhere in his office after he receives them. Could those CDs he requests really be used to burn music? Is any of his tasks requiring him to use DVDs? What about those expensive pens, is he really going to a lot of business events that he needs that many? Where are all the ink cartridges going if he doesn’t send mass mailings out, print memos, etc.? The paper goes fast too, he is frequently in the copy room an employee tells you. The extra gifts from the last company event where are they being stored and does he have the only key? Need I say more?

Ms. Know-It-All

She doesn’t allow you to get to your desk before she tells you about everything that has went wrong today. For every solution you have to her concerns, she has several reasons as to why that just won’t work. She is an eloquent speaker, hard worker and too smart for her own good, but she just doesn’t know how to shut up long enough to consider what you are saying. Here’s what you need to do. Let her know before she comes into the office bothering you, what you need to do first before you can sit down and chat with her. Tell her when you are available to discuss her concerns, if she hasn’t written them in a memo, tell her to write them down with possible solutions and submit them to you for review. Once you have reviewed her concerns, respond in writing to each one. Call a meeting with her to discuss, but let her know in advance how long the meeting will be and remind her about your other obligations. Any concerns that she can complete without you let her know what she needs to do to get those tasks completed. She will most likely come up with more concerns during the meeting; however, don’t bother with the new concerns at that time. Make notes and reassure her that when she has done what you ask, those other issues will be addressed. If you find that she is not completing what you request, missing deadlines, making up excuses, etc. provide her with a verbal and written warning. This will humble her if she really needs the job. However, if she has given you any indication that she doesn’t really need the job, be prepared to get a replacement.

Mr. Lazy

You have asked him over and over again to submit his monthly report and for some reason he just never seems to give it you when you need it or he simply doesn’t do it at all. He will make up a million reasons as to why he just can’t seem to get it done. Mr. Lazy also has a problem with getting to work on time and he has many reasons for his tardiness too. He will need a serious wake up call. The scenario between you and he will play out like this: Find out what he will need to put aside to get the work done. He may need someone to take over one of his responsibilities (but then again don’t jump to this conclusion without interviewing some of his co-workers, remember he is lazy and could be making up excuses.) Use every disciplinary action available to you, following company protocol. Ask him how important is his job to him? Give him an option he can either begin to give you what you need by deadline, come to work on time, etc. or face possible termination (put your plan of action in writing.) He will have X amount of time to do it, if for some reason, he still can’t seem to follow through, then dismiss him. No second, third, fourth or more chances. You will lose respect not only with him, but everyone else on your team. Then you will find that people who weren’t usually late or submitted work on time will become nonchalant. They will always remember how you gave Mr. Lazy so many chances.

Ms. Busybody

You have noticed that every new person you have hired Ms. Busybody is ready to welcome them with all the latest company gossip. You know what her personality is like because she has brought quite a bit of news to you. However, she isn’t to be trusted so here’s what you can do to “shake her up.” Be forward with Ms. Busybody. She knows what she is doing and she will feel very embarrassed and fearful that she may lose her job when confronted on stories she is spreading. Remind her that people have been fired over gossip. Tell her that you don’t approve of certain conversations. Make it clear to your new employees what you will not tolerate, without naming her, and ask them to see you about any matter they have in question. 

Ms. Cover-up

She makes mistakes and she knows it. However, she doesn’t want anyone else to know it. You confront her tell her about an error you found and she is ready to blame it on someone else. Ms. Cover-up usually has an extensive history on this type of behavior. It most likely started when she was a child blaming her siblings for everything she has done to avoid discipline. Now she is an adult and continues to do the same thing. She may say things like, “I didn’t do that, the customer was irate. I didn’t follow up because I thought it was already taken care of.” You can fix this by making her accountable. When it comes to a situation where she is ready to blame someone, have evidence available that shuts down her accusations. Make it present before everyone, since she doesn’t mind bringing people’s names up behind their backs. Expose her repeatedly on her blame and she will eventually learn to take responsibility for her actions.

Mr. Con man

He is always looking for an opportunity to move up in the company, make more money, land a date or any thing else that will make him feel and look good. Watch out for his requests to work overtime. Then when you deny him, he will find an opportunity to stay late anyway so you have to pay him. “I had to stay late because XYZ needed fix.” He will make a situation look worst then it seems. He may also be interested in an available position that he may or may not be qualified for, he will have many reasons as to why he is more qualified while talking negatively about each one of his co-workers. Mr. Con man also enjoys conversing with the opposite sex. He will use any lag time in his workday to socialize with them. Don’t ignore those complaints women (or men) make about him “always coming around.” Keep a journal of dates and times when people have complained. In time he will usually do something dumb enough to get his self fired.
Once you have determined which kind of problem employee you may have, you will have to be sure that you not only meet with them, but follow up with whatever you have decided to circumvent their negative behavior. If you meet with your employee and do not provide a deadline for them to meet any of the goals you may have set for them to accomplish, and provided no consequences for their actions, then expect them to continue to act irresponsibly until you have no choice but to fire them. Hopefully, the other employees who have noticed how you have handled the situation with the problem employee will not resort to the same tactics. If so, it’s because they have learned that you do not handle matters immediately nor effectively and you may have to make some examples of a few more employees to correct your ineffective practices from the past.

By Nicholl McGuire

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