This week I'm dealing with one mega pain-in-the-ass employee...the kind of employee who, no matter what, is never wrong. She is always the victim and it's always someone else's fault. This person lives with so much drama in her life it makes me dizzy. I've counseled her so many times....and she sits there looking at me with a blank face. She always acts shocked about whatever the topic is, always denies any wrong-doing, and usually strings together a bunch of stupid excuses that includes blaming other employees. She absolutely cannot hear what I'm saying. Sure, she hears me talking...but no listening takes place.
I really am a fair person. I always give employees the benefit of the doubt. I try to give people grace even in hard circumstances. I've had terrific bosses who have taught me the right way to coach someone how to perform better. My main goal in managing is that every employee will leave better than they came.
Unfortunately, I'm afraid that goal is unattainable with this employee. How do you get through to someone like this? Can you just tell someone that their negative energy follows them around like a black cloud? Is "passive agressive behavior" something for which you can write someone up? How do you teach someone not to talk shitty to other employees? How do you present valuable growth opportunities to someone who turns it around into being victimized, picked on, or treated unfairly? And to further complicate these questions....her actual work performance is good.
Two months ago, my regional director told me to fire this employee. Knowing her family situation, I just couldn't do it. I wanted her to have the chance to be better, to grow in her role. To save face. And now I'm having to deal with it all over again. Guess who's feeling like a big schmuck right now?
6 months ago