An incompetent worker may well take a huge amount of your time; trying to guide, correct mistakes, respond to failures or generally deal with the fallout of an inept worker can take all a manager’s energy, leaving precious little for the important things that really need to get done.
Who they are: It’s important to recognise, of course, that making a few mistakes now and again doesn’t make someone incompetent; if anything, it just makes them human. Instead an incompetent worker is someone who never seems to understand what they should be doing or how to do it. They are, quite frankly, useless to you.
Failing to deal with an employee who just isn’t up to par not only breeds resentment from other staff who usually end up covering for the incapable worker but can actually chase customers away.
What to do: Once you have hired someone, you owe it to them to give them a chance to improve. So, talk to the employee about the problem; be honest and candid, try...
Who they are: How to Handle An Employee Who Lies - Everyone tells a little white lie now and again but a dishonest worker is something else entirely; as their manager, it can be a very delicate situation to handle.
Dishonest employees may tell lies about their whereabouts, make excuses as to why they couldn’t get to work on time, blame others for their lack of productivity, take the credit away from other people when they haven’t done the work themselves and even lie outright about certain situations.
I’ve heard stories of managers who have had employees lie to them about family bereavements or imaginary surgeries that meant they needed a week off work with very little notice. The employee obviously isn’t worried about bad karma! In more extreme cases, a dishonest employee may steal from the company, at which point you need to part ways. The stealing may or may not be in their true nature but they have overstepped a line and you can never...
Who they are: How to Handle a Gossiping Employee- Every manager at one point or another, no matter how well liked or how effective, has either felt the wrath of their team or felt alienated by them from time to time. If you go through your management career with a strong desire to be liked, this can be particularly difficult.
People tend to forget that managers are human too; if you walk into a room and all conversation suspiciously stops, it’s not a particularly nice experience. Neither is walking into the pub after work and finding that you are the only person not invited for drinks. As we already know, the phrase ‘it’s lonely at the top’ was invented for a reason.
Ironically, it’s sometimes easier to deal with the idea of the team talking about you behind your back when you’ve given them something to talk about – say redundancies, reprimands, a change in working hours or any other change that they are entitled to share...
Who they are: How do you deal with lazy employees? There are laid back employees and then there are just lazy employees; a laid back worker will do the work in their own relaxed way while a lazy worker will do everything they can to avoid the work in the first place. If you want a happy and productive workforce, you will have to take the latter to task. Lazy employees not only shirk responsibility – they might have to do some work otherwise – but they also lack initiative and get-up-and-go. Unless it’s getting up and going for coffee, that is!
Lazy employees may very well spend an inordinate amount of time doing coffee runs, browsing the internet or taking extra time at lunch. They probably think that you won’t notice. But of course, as they spend time away from the real tasks at hand, deadlines are being missed, money is being lost and other members of staff become resentful at having to cover for this lazy employee.
What to do:
Who they are: How to Handle An Employee Who is Always Sick - We all have sick days now and then; we even all have days when we just can’t face going into work. Yes, even us bosses too. However, there’s a very big difference between thinking about throwing a sickie and actually doing it. The absentee worker will take more sick days than would seem reasonably normal; they may seem to lurch from one supposed health or personal crisis to another.
So, if you have a repeat absentee offender, how can you handle it?
What to do if an employee is always sick:
The first thing you need to do is to assess the reason behind the absence. Is the employee genuinely ill, for instance? A doctor’s note should tell you that. If the employee takes a lot of odd days off here and there – for which they can self-certificate and don’t need a doctor’s note – that should raise a red flag.
Legally in the UK, you can’t ask for medical evidence or a fit note...
Scenario: Employee comes late for work, missing the first few minutes of their shift
Solution: Make a note of the exact time the employee began working, check their schedule to verify their start time. In some cases, you may want to record information for more than one day to show the pattern of behavior.
"Hey Mary, I noticed that you were a few minutes late today, is everything ok?"
If the tardiness is a recurring behavior... pull the employee aside privately to discuss their pattern of behavior. For example:Listen, and then depending on their response take a moment to remind them about the attendance policy and why it is necessary to come to work on time.
John, you have been 10-15 minutes late 3 times this week. Here is a copy of our attendance policy, you can see that the expectation is for you to...
Who are they: There are many businesses that require you to learn how to motivate employees without using money. It’s fair to say that there are a great many businesses in the UK that rely on lower-paid workers to keep them ticking over. Retail accounts for about two-fifths of all low-paid work in the UK, while the hospitality industry represents another fifth. Jobs in social care, hairdressing and cleaning tend to make up the rest.
These workers may earn just above the £5.93 minimum wage for over 21s or £4.92 for those aged 18-20; the latter is likely if you rely on college students to make up your numbers. Or maybe they take home just over the £3.64 minimum wage rate if they’ve left school but haven’t turned 18 yet.
The fact that these employees are poorly paid isn’t necessarily driven by greed but by economic realities. Your business may be the same. There just isn’t a whole lot of money in the kitty to throw around, particularly...
Who they are: This is your ‘woe is me’ employee. Everyone has the same amount of work to do but to listen to this employee you would think that he or she was doing everyone else’s work as well as her own. A martyr likes nothing better than complaining, whining, bitching and moaning to anyone who will listen about how much work, pressure and responsibility they have on their shoulders. Often, they believe they cannot get a task done because of something that is out of their control. In short, they have no ‘get-up-and-go’ or positive attitude.
A victim often comes across as tentative, apprehensive and helpless. They too are likely to blame others for their lack of productivity and efficiency. What’s more, they bring everyone else down. In short, they are depressing.
You’ll also notice that when they attempt to explain themselves, they will invariably leave out the key one or two details that would explain why they haven’t...
Who they are: The term ‘toxic employee’ refers to an individual on your team or in your department that can be dangerous or poisonous to the morale of your team. A toxic employee can spread negative energy throughout a workforce, fostering antagonism and resentment, subtly or overtly infecting their co-workers with their own bitterness.
A toxic employee may be one who always subtly complains about everything and suggests a sinister ulterior motive to whatever the company does, or the passive-aggressive worker who backbites and then plays the martyr to the hilt when they are called on their behaviour by the manager. Passive-aggressive employees express their aggression in passive resistance; they avoid direct conflict and resist the demands of others by being stubborn and sullen, deliberately inefficient and procrastinating.
The true danger of toxic employees is that they can contaminate others; vulnerable employees can get caught up in the net of negativity and...
If you’re a manager in a big company with it's own Human Resources section, you may think you don’t need to know employment law. After all, if you get into any trouble, you have an entire HR department to back you up.
Alternatively, if you’re a middle manager in a small business with significantly fewer employees, you might believe employment law is irrelevant to you. It’s not as if you don’t have enough on your plate learning new skills and taking on extra responsibilities for the day-to-day running of your department, is it?
You’re not a lawyer or a HR specialist, so why should you ‘waste’ time learning employment law? Surely your job is ensuring employees are productive and helping the company to make money; nothing else really matters, especially if it’s going to take your attention away from that.
If you’ve said any of these things to yourself since being promoted to manager, I have to tell you that you’re...