How to Talk to an Employee about Using Profanity?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors, from a supervisor,
about how to discuss an employee’s use of profanity.

Question:
I need to know some questions to ask an employee about using profanity, in a meeting discussing her performance.

Response:
It’s stressful to be facing a counseling session with an employee, when you know you will be critiquing his or her behavior or performance. Often managers lose sleep and feel worried, much more than the employee does! Your brief question doesn’t explain the circumstances leading up to this meeting—and those are important for you to consider as you decide how to approach it.

read more

Employee Texts Us After Hours and Is Effusively Complimentary–Especially to My Husband.

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: What to do about an employee
who is excessive in her flattery and texting? 

Question:
My husband and I own a small business with four employees. We live in a very small town and we run the business out of our home. Our secretary continues to text both my husband and myself after hours with subjects totally unrelated to work. She will constantly give compliments to my spouse and myself about what a great boss he is, how he is the “rock” for the team. She will also provide nutritional supplements for his “stress”, etc. We have attempted to discuss these issues with her and she is great for a time, but then falls into the same habit. I don’t want to lose a productive employee, but this invading our time after hours is getting old quickly. Any suggestions – before we end this work relationship?

read more

Called a Racist on Facebook–Worried It Will Hurt My Business

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being labeled racist by an employee

I own a small restaurant with 5 servers and 2 cooks.  I have been doing an excellent level of business with no issues.  I do have a set of rules and have discussed how to prepare/cut/serve the desserts but the servers often cut pieces extra large.  That is what happened.  She did and I asked her to follow the portion size.  She then cut the pieces in half and then it was too small.  Any time I have need to provide instruction or training to this one server, it results in a flare up. She feels I treat her differently because she is black.  I do the exact same thing with all servers.

read more

Employee Who Wanted Scent-Free Workplace Is Violating the Policy

Question: 

I have an employee (Employee A) who complained that another employee (Employee B) was wearing an offending perfume and was causing her headaches. Employee A went to the Dr. and came back with a note that said we are to provide her a fragrance free environment.

We have instructed others not to wear anything scented and they have complied, EXCEPT Employee A – the employee requesting the fragrance free. She wears a scent that is obvious and lingers. She has denied wearing anything, but then said she just uses a scented hand cream. She was reminded that her Dr. note included her complying as well as all others.

read more

Stressed By Assistant

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an assistant:

I am a teacher in a Pre-K setting. My classroom recently started expanding after I opened it up in August of this year. My boss put out ads to find me an assistant teacher for my classroom. My boss ended up hiring a floating teacher from her old school to be my assistant. She told me after she hired her that sometimes she has issues finding English words because she speaks Spanish but it should not affect anything and I said this wouldn’t be a problem.

read more

Conflict Between Daughters Has Created Conflict Between Parents At Work

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a conflict at work that
began with a conflict between the daughters of the coworkers.

****************************************************

Question:
Hi, I have worked side by side with what I considered a friend, not only coworker, for 25 years now. I am the office manager. Our daughters are both in middle school at the same school and do not get along well. In May, my coworker quit speaking to me unless she had to, where once we would talk quite often.

read more

What Should I Do About This Threat?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an employee who
yelled a threatening remark.
******************************************** 

Question:
I’m a manager and a staff member got upset about some work I gave him and yelled at me, inches from my face, saying, “Don’t make me lose my shit or one of these days there’ll be nothing left here except charcoal!” What should I do about it?

Answer:

It sounds as though you have an employee who 1.) Is rude and disrespectful to his manager. 2.) Doesn’t control his temper. 3.) Makes threats that implies if he gets angry enough he will set the building on fire—and presumably anyone in it.

read more

Constant Criticism and Anger at Work

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an employee who criticizes how things are done:
I have an employee at work who is constantly criticizing how things are done. She is a perfectionist in her tasks and indeed does a very good job in her duties, often staying until late and performing way beyond the standards that she is asked for.

However, whilst doing so, she is constantly complaining, especially to a small group of people, about how others do their work. Even though of course everything can always be improved and done at a higher level, as a manager I don’t see any clear reasons for complaint. All the opposite, I feel that everyone is working well and that the job is certainly getting done; many times even way over my expectations.

read more

How Can I Get Upper Management Support?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about getting upper management support: How can I get upper management to support me in not allowing others to get away with undermining my authority?

I currently work at a career school handling student loan default prevention. I handle default prevention at a campus level, but a new position was created shortly after I came on board that was offered to me to oversee our other 3 campuses as well. Part of the problem is the fact that I work out of one of the campuses and not out of the corporate office, and there is a level of competitiveness among campuses that makes it difficult to gain the other campus’ trust that I am in fact looking out for their best interest and not trying to make the campus I work at look the best.

read more

Rude Communications At Work


Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about rude communications at work:

“Any suggestions for how to stop nastiness and rude communications in the workplace?”

I am a Process Leader in the claims dept. of a health insurance company. Over the past 6 months or so we have been overwhelmed with an abundance of claims. With a new product that we went live with in January, it caused our paper claims volume to go up and our processing time to go down.

During these past few months, the atmosphere as been null to say the least. Employees are nasty and speak rude to one another. I won’t deny that they are stressed and overworked as overtime has been mandatory for some months now.

read more