Managing A Challenging Employee

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about managing a talkative employee:

I have been made office manager. Not huge, I have one person under me and some part time occasional employees as well as a volunteer. Here is my problem. The full time employee that I am supposed to supervise is not a bad employee. She aims to please. She comes in on time. She handles the telephone and people who come to the window beautifully. She handles many things very well.

The problem: She likes to talk. Her position involves a lot of data entry and I’ve watched her talk without a break for long periods of time during work hours. She then asks the other help to get her data entry work done for her.She’s a real talker and on one day I remember, she talked to the janitor for a half hour. I interrupted their conversation and asked her if she could help me with some work that needed to be done. She told me she could not, that she had too much work.I asked her at that time because she was doing nothing and I could use the help. The other issue is that she has all our other help doing her regular work instead of the filing, tours, or helping me and her with our overload. She delegates much of her work to them. If she can get someone to do it for her she does. Where her job involves talking, she’s good at it. The Data entry part she delegates. These part time employees have been hired to help our department, not just her. My husband says, “She should be manager. She delegates better than you do.”

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