How to deal with attitude from employees
So it been awhile since I've been in here, but I came across something that I knew I needed the opinion of the wise folks of HorseForum!
So recently, the place I work for went into foreclosure and is now owned by the bank. The bank hired a management company to come in and run the place. I was made assistant manager and shortly after that our GM was fired and new one brought in temporarily. She is not in in the office much if ever, so I've had to step up and keep things running smooth.
I have three women to supervise-A who is also my best friend and roommate, J who I went to school with, and S who is new and working out perfectly. Well I come in after my two days off and find something that is waayy wrong and totally messed up and the person is yelling at me. It has all 3 of their initials on it and happened on my days off.
I did get it fixed, and when I had A and J in the same room I asked them about just to see how it got so screwed up. All I got from J attitude and snappiness on how I was picking on her for this this and that. I didn't approach it in a mad way and asked that they just tell me each time they each spoke with the lady. As soon as she started talking back, I could see A start to shut down and back away and because I was a little stunned by her attitude I chose to drop it until I could talk to each person alone. Maybe trying to talk to them both at the same time wasn't a good idea?
Since the new GM started I have also taking over scheduling and have been doing it for 4 weeks now. Yesterday after cooking out with the new schedule I get a note from J that per her agreement with the previous GM she HAS to work Thursday mornings. My first thought is why are you telling me this now? I've been doing the schedule for the past 4 weeks so I should not be hearing about this NOW. When I tried to talk to her about via text (its how everyone at work communicates) she told she didn't have to tell me anything. When she got to work I pulled her aside and spoke to her again. She said she would come in at the time I scheduled her for but wouldn't stay until the end of the shift. I told her that because of the days she asked for off we needed her for the shifts she was scheduled for by me and that she had that agreement with the previous manager not me and that next week we could talk about her days, but because of the days she asked off for vacation she needed to be here different days. All I got was a huffy FINE.
Now, because I've never been manager or had any training I have no idea how to deal with her attitude. I realize we were in the same high school classes, same high school plays, but her attitude towards me is not ok. I think maybe its because she did go to college for 4 years and is back in town that's she hates and is working under an old classmate with no college education and it bugs her a little?
I did ask A if I came off as too abrasive (she is insanely brutally honest) and she said no, that I approached it well and she didn't feel awkward about until J started talking back. So I'm just stuck on what I should say to her, I've been asked by the GM to talk to her about her attitude and by A and S as well feel she has an attitude problem. So I'm just stuck with how to deal with it :(
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Sounds like 'J' needs the ol donald trump treatment. ;-)
You want advice, here is mine. A job is a job, it isn't "personal" - save yourself the heartache and don't let your employees make it "personal". If you are the boss, then you are. For example, if someone belatedly tells you they "have to have" something, if it is going to cost you (the company) extra time to accommodate them, then just say "no", and make it clear that any such "requests" need to be made in advance, and IF it causes no problems with the operation - THEN you will take it into consideration, it is nothing personal. End of story.
Welcome to management! And scheduling is often the biggest bugaboo that some managers have to deal with. Also, most managers have little formal training and even if they do, the personnel issues rarely go "by the book."
Both toto and Miss May gave you great advice.
One technique I use is to tell the person who is clearly unhappy in their job, is to tell them they obviously are unhappy, to clock out, go home, and take the day to decide if they want this job or not. And, they are to let me know the next morning. Yeah, it puts a bit more on everyone that day, but the offending employee is generally such a drag on morale, things go better anyway.
I also recommend writing this incident down. At this point you don't have to treat it as a write up and have the person sign, but document your conversation, the having them clock out, and what they decide. Make the effort to read the companies policy on disciplinary action and write ups. It will serve you well the rest of your life even after you leave this company.
If you need to, if the person tends to bring up multiple complaints and accuses you and others of multiple wrongs, write your issues down to help keep you focused. The one or ones that need to be addressed by him/her in the workplace as an employee. You are responsible to the company to see that employees are doing the jobs they agreed to do, and you are in control of the conversation.
Good luck. Don't let it get to you personally, like Miss May said. Your employee may have some "issues" but you didn't cause them and you can't cure them.
She's going to push you just as far as she can and then some to test the boundaries. It's your job as manager to clearly define the boundaries then slap down anyone who crosses them equally. Then develop thick skin because you'll not like what she's saying about you to other employees and people you both know.
To back up what Boots said: Document, document, document, document. You'll need both formal and informal documentation. Informal is notes of what she has done like give you lip, showed up late, when/for what you give verbal warning, not done her work, etc. Basically anything you see her do that doesn't rise to the level of a formal write up. Don't forget that informal can also be for good things done.
Why document everything? When it comes to firing time you already have a case built against her. That makes it easier to fire her, easier to fight off unemployment claims and makes it easier in case she tries to sue the company. If the person is a minority, do everything in triplicate as you are more likely to get sued.
I have been documenting our conversations. I do have to step up and say I realize this is partly my fault because I have been picking up the slack of the girls for the past 4 since it was an insane time and I didn't think it fair, but now that things are going smoothly again I expected them to step back up. As this was all dumped in my lap with no notice or training, I did let a lot slip through the cracks, but I have called a mandatory meeting so that I can get everyone on the same page without singling out one person.
while I have no problem going toe to toe with a nasty customer/guest/vendor/former boss (even tho I'm the youngest person here, I have a mama bear complex when it comes to people giving my workers a hard time) I'm realizing I have no idea what to say to someone I work with on a daily basis so would like to get along with
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Since you got blindsided and let the incident go, calling the meeting is a good idea. I would remind everyone of the progressive discipline policy (I'm assuming you have one) and remind them that you ARE their superior. Let them ALL know that while you will work with them on scheduling to the best of your ability, your responsibility to have the schedule covered for the good of the COMPANY comes first and that no previous agreements will be honored. Let them know that infractions (attitude issues, lack of customer service, poor performance) will be dealt with according to company policy via progressive discipline.
If J gives you anymore attitude, fire her. She'll poison the whole group because if she gets away with it, they'll all try it. Do all counseling and discipline in PRIVATE, document it and have her sign and you sign, time and date all the paperwork. You're laying the ground work to fire her and you need to be very up front that this is the trail she's choosing to go down.
The only way to successfully pull this off with friends is make sure they know beyond a doubt that you are only their friend off the clock. At work you are their supervisor and that means they have to do what you tell them even if they don't like it and odds are they wont.
Ok...so when I tried to talk to her about what days and times she can work she blew up at me. This was one on one. Said shes going over my head to talk to the GM because it's not fait that I'm making the schedule work only for me. I told he no-I'm trying to make it work for everyone but I can't since she refuses to talk to me. Ive been pulling 6 days a week 8-10 hours a day and being on call for them whenever I'm not here so can't see where she is coming from and honestly it makes me want to scream so I am calling my GM and not going to say anything else to J until after I speak with the GM
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I think talking to the GM is a good idea. List out the problems this person causes. Keep it to work stuff only. You don't even have to mention that you've known her for years and think she's dissatisfied with her life. You don't know and it comes off as gossip. Try to jot down some of the things you have tried doing in order to make having her as an employee work. Don't sound like a martyr or victim or picked on or misunderstood and under appreciated.
Don't try to rally support from the other employees. The GM can check out your story, if needed. It drags the others down and makes them worry that you are going to gossip about them if they ever mess up.
Good luck. Hope you get some resolution to this.
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