If you are the boss or are close to the boss then you know the one. The one that gets people to cringe every time they hear their voice. They answer their phone in a vexatious tone that they’ll suddenly start using. The one who you go out of your way not to cross paths with. Dare I even say make eye contact with them because you know the next 40 minutes will be shot to hell as they over-share every minute detail of their seemingly sad lives.
They go on to constantly interrupt you during conference calls because they’re problems are more important than yours, especially when you’re the boss. This person responds to any direction with a whiny “I know, I know, I know!” then turns around a minute later to ask you how to do what you just explained.
How the hell do you deal with them without looking like a bad guy?
I’ve tried the nice guy approach.
I’ve tried the teacher approach.
I’ve tried the buddy approach (THIS NEVER WORKS, BUT I WAS DESPERATE).
I’ve tried the constructive criticism approach. (To which I was met with a deluge of tears.)
Seriously, if you start asking too many questions to get an idea behind what in the world possessed them to carry out an action they dissolve into tears defending themselves. Last I checked I was trying to help them not attack them. Yet, they react as if they’re on trial for a major crime. Many employers and employees would say they are untrainable.
So, what do you do when you categorize an employee as untrainable, unhelpable, and a drain on company resources? (Not to mention your precious sanity?)
3 Things, Immediately.
#1. TELL YOUR BOSS. If you’re like me, then your boss is already well aware of the current bane of your existence. You’re better off alerting them now. If you do neglect this you could be held accountable. By the time the employee has “hung” themselves they have also lost the company millions of dollars. Keep your boss in the loop so they don’t freak out about the issue when it blows up months down the road.
#2. DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT. Everything. I mean EVERYTHING. Anything you mentioned to them. Document it. Anything you forwarded. Document it. Anything you printed. Document it. An off-handed comment. Doucment it. When they clocked out for their breaks and were on a long gruesome personal phone call they took at their desk. Document it. It will all come in handy.
#3. GO TO Human Resources. HR’s first question will be, “Did you document this?” That’s why step #2 is so important. HR will take all your evidence and weigh carefully the options that need to be taken. If you’re part of a large corporation, and not a mom & pop place, you need to be bracing yourself for a potential lawsuit. Unfortunately, people can’t see that the fault of their unemployment lies with them and will often go after anybody they can to get compensations.
These are all starting points to consider when trying to deal with a troublesome employee. Each company has a set of regulations to follow when dealing with these circumstances. It is a good idea to check with your company and then mesh some of these ideas with what your company already has in place.
The prepared are who end up standing tallest after the bomb goes off.
Thanks for reading,