I’m serving as the temporary supervisor for my unit with the hope I will be the top candidate for the position when my employer decides to fill it permanently. My problem is with one of the people I have to supervise. I’m having a tough time getting things under control with her. She’s not doing the work she needs to do. When I talk to her about it, she’s congenial to my face, but others in our unit and even an old friend of mine in another unit have told me she’s going behind my back saying I don’t know what I’m doing in this supervisory role. She’s blaming her inferior performance on me, saying I don’t know how to manage. Performance evaluations are coming up and I’m anxious about giving her the rating I think she deserves. If I give her a low rating, I’m concerned she will challenge it even though I’ve told her numerous times what she needs to do. I’m also worried she will do whatever she can to keep me from being selected as the permanent supervisor if I give her a low rating. Do you have any suggestions?
Struggling with underperforming employee
Dear Struggling with underperforming employee:
It is not easy being a supervisor. Such a position in any organization often requires one to make hard decisions and to order subordinates to do things they may not want to do. You indicated you have communicated to this problem employee what you expect from her. Hopefully, you have communicated your expectations with specificity, identifying exactly what she needs to do so she does not receive a low performance rating; you have carefully documented all of your communications; and you have provided her with a copy of all your documentation. If you have done all these things and she has not done the necessary work, you should not hesitate to give her the rating she deserves; and you should feel confident defending your actions and facing whatever pushback she may bring your way. This is a part of the supervisory job and what makes it tough at times. You want your upper management to know you have no problem handling all aspects of this supervisory position so they will feel comfortable selecting you for the permanent position.
Best of luck!
I own and operate a small IT company. One of my customers was taking her employees to lunch during the work week and invited me to be her guest as well. This customer is the sole owner and President of a small advertising company. I realize she can do whatever she wants, and at this lunch, she announced to her employees that they could have an alcoholic drink if they wanted one. She had a glass of wine and they had either a beer or even a mixed drink. I just had an iced tea. I was taken aback by this. It reminded me of a couple of instances when I have worked at her office in the late afternoon. When it turned 5:00 PM, she offered me a beer or some wine, which she had in the office refrigerator. I never took her up on her offer, but she always had some wine. I want to tell her I don’t think the alcohol consumption at lunch or any time of the day in her office is appropriate. She’s been one of my customers for almost five years. What do you think?
Questioning customer’s drinking choices
Dear Questioning customer’s drinking choices:
I understand your concern over your customer’s choices. I believe you made wise, professional decisions not to drink at the lunch or at her office, but I do not think you should say anything to her unless you have a much closer relationship with her than I am able to detect from your email.
© 2014 Rozanne R. Worrell