Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about subordinate with excuses:
I am a 44 year-old female manager. My employee, a 29 year-old female, shows me no respect. When I ask her to do something she often has an excuse or says she will get to it; then doesn’t do it. But when my boss, the CEO, or any of the other managers (men) ask her for something, she drops everything and does a stellar job. They think the world of her, want to promote her, and increase her salary. What can I do? If I tell upper management what she’s really like, won’t I be seen as a troublemaker or someone who can’t manage her own staff? I am the only female manager in the firm.
Signed, Manager of Poor Performer
Dear Manager of Poor Performer:
Apparently, Ms. Got Excuses, Will Get To It, But Doesn’t, But Jumps to Please Other Managers and Your Boss has been getting by with ignoring you. Have you documented these times? Have you spoken to her about this behavior? What is the procedure in place for performance appraisal? Do appraisals not go forward? If they do, are you not remiss if you have not documented and summarized your efforts to correct Ms GEWGTIBD–BJTPOMAYB’s behavior and your attempts to improve her performance? Do you have other subordinates (associates or whatever you call them)?
You should provide similar evaluations in length, specificity, and summary ranking, so that Ms GEWGTIBD–BJTPOMAYB is not singled out in how you do performance evaluation. The difference in her evaluation would center on her not carrying out assignments and carrying her load.Is it not past time to confront Ms GEWGTIBD–BJTPOMAYB with a written/oral appraisal and to asked her what she would suggest that could change your evaluation? Might such a confrontation be a time for reviewing what you want from her in performance and attitude and responding to what she wants from you? Might it not be a time to put in writing expectations and to set regular weekly sessions to review How well she is working to accomplish assignments? And How well we are working as a boss-bossed team? And How well are we meeting our internal and external customers’ needs? Possibly this will be a time for you to reflect on how you give assignments, listen to those whom you manage, invite their ideas, praise good work, show interest in them as persons and are demonstrate your support for their career hopes and plans and striving to build a sense of teamness.
If you are doing all that and you still are shafted by such as this individual, you can honestly say, “It’s not me. It’s her,” and act accordingly.You have been entrusted with managing this individual. Keeping your boss informed about her indifference to you and your efforts to shape her up is not being a troublemaker, and you should not hesitate to make your evaluation known. Possibly, Ms GEWGTIBD–BJTPOMAYB should be transferred and you can tell her and your boss that you will encourage that if she proves herself to you in the next quarter and if not that you have no other choice but to voice your sorry appraisal of her work.
If you boss is like most bosses, he (I remember you said you are the only female manager), will want to be informed of what’s going on in your work group and part of that is this person’s performance and your efforts to work with her to make her work stellar for you as well as for others.Will you let us know what you do and how it develops? Our signature WEGO symbolizes efforts such as yours to build positive working relationships between those who work together.