Employee Trained Me But Won’t Retire

Question:

I was hired for full time job to replace a retiring employee. He trained me and now will not retire! He is continuing to do my job and take over my responsibilities. What do I do?

Signed,

Ready To Work


Answer:

Dear Ready To Work:

There may be several reasons why the employee who trained you is stalling on retiring. He may realize he’s not ready to leave yet. Or, he may think you’re not ready to do his job. He may even be ready to leave but his manager has asked him to stay.

Whatever the cause, the person you need to talk to is the supervisor or manager for the two of you. If you were hoping for full time work but can’t get that until the other employee retires, you have ample reason to ask for a timeline.

When you approach your manager about it, keep your tone as one of concern and wanting clarification. “Bill, I feel like I’m ready to take over when Hal leaves. Do you have a timeline for when that will be?”

You don’t want to sound like you’re kicking the coworker out the door, but a courteous question would be appropriate.

If your manager seems to be stalling, you may need to ask some more direct questions: “I think I’ve learned well enough to get going with the work. Do you see it differently than that?” You don’t mention the kind of work you do, but you say that the employee is doing your job and taking over your responsibilities. It may be he thinks he simply has not yet turned the job over to you. That would be something else to clarify with your manager.

On the other hand, according to how well you get along with the employee who trained you, you may want to ask him about it directly. “Hal, why are you putting those things away? That’s my job and I should be doing it.” Or, with a more light hearted tone: “If you keep doing my work you’ll never get to retire!”

Whatever the situation, the first thing to do is to express your frustrations to someone who can help you. That’s either your trainer/coworker or your manager.

Best wishes to you with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.