HR Home Forums Community Difficult Employee – Errors and Distractions

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  • Conner Lantz
    Post count: 4836

    New HR here (1 month into my job – 1 year into HR).
    Employee has been with this company for 1.5 years. Has sat at the reception desk for the entirety of their time here so far. Title is administrative assistant. There to answer phones, order office supplies, and has been doing payroll clerk duties as well.

    I was informed when I started that this particular employee has been causing some issues. Firstly, they make substantial mistakes in every payroll which causes work for other admin who also have a hand in payroll. When confronted (before my time here), they said they had too much on their plate and that was causing issues with accuracy. So, to accommodate, they took away 90% of their duties (other than reception and some other basic admin tasks) to allow them to focus on payroll duties. Still a lot of mistakes. They have addressed this (before my time – no documentation) a few times with this person. The Company has offered to pay for their training in excel to help them better understand and the employee has shown no initiative or effort to improve.

    The issue is persisting, and since my time here I have noticed that this person whispers in the office / doesn’t do their work / distracts other employees and is constantly complaining about sitting at the reception desk (which is distracting to everyone).

    What are your thoughts on this? The employees manager is also newly in leadership so has been relying on me a lot to give guidance. My gut tells me that we have to A) start documenting EVERYTHING for her file – all disciplinary conversations, etc. and B) We need to be honest with them and we are noticing some concerning behaviour that is distracting to everyone in the office.

    Curious to your thoughts.

    Conner Lantz
    Post count: 4836

    It sounds like you’ve identified a complex situation that requires careful handling. Here are some steps you could consider taking to address the issues with this employee:

    1. Document Everything: Your gut instinct is right. Start documenting all interactions, disciplinary conversations, performance concerns, and any instances of disruptive behavior. Having a well-documented record will be important if the situation escalates and you need to take further action.
    2. Performance Improvement Plan (PIP): Given the employee’s ongoing issues with payroll accuracy and their lack of initiative to improve despite opportunities for training, consider implementing a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). This is a structured process where you outline the specific performance expectations, areas that need improvement, and a timeline for improvement. The plan should be clear and achievable, and it should include consequences if the improvement doesn’t happen. Document the PIP and keep a record of the employee’s progress.
    3. Provide Clear Expectations: Have a direct and honest conversation with the employee about their performance and behavior concerns. Clearly communicate your expectations regarding their role, responsibilities, and the impact of their actions on the team. Address the issues you’ve noticed, such as distracting behavior and complaints, and emphasize the need for professionalism and teamwork.
    4. Offer Support: It’s important to offer support and resources for improvement. If the employee’s accuracy issues stem from lack of Excel skills, offer them the training you mentioned or suggest other resources they can use to improve. Make sure they understand that the company is invested in helping them succeed.
    5. Manager Involvement: If the employee’s manager is new to their role, it might be beneficial for you to collaborate closely with them. Provide guidance and advice on how to address performance issues, conduct difficult conversations, and manage the situation effectively.
    6. Regular Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-in meetings with the employee to track their progress and discuss any challenges they’re facing. This shows that you’re invested in their improvement and provides an opportunity for open communication.
    Remember, each situation is unique, and your approach may need to be tailored based on the employee’s response and the specific dynamics within your organization. It’s crucial to address the concerns promptly while maintaining professionalism and empathy throughout the process.

    Difficult Employees Special Report
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