Recently I found your website through Google Search and I thought maybe I can seek some opinions from a different point of view.
I am quite new at managing people so when I started out to have my own team naturally I start freaking out. But my boss and my team mates are very understanding and very nice to me until a new girl called Jasmine* joined our team from another department. Apparently, her ex-boss couldn’t stand her and pass her along to us.
For the first two weeks, she is okay, trying her best to fit in and works very hard to prove herself. After that, comes the problem of her “mysteriously” disappearing from work at different hours of the day. On top of that, she starts taking leave at last moment notice. This has gone now for nearly 3 months now. I had a talk with her twice before, she’ll break down in front of me in tears and I will lose track of what I need to say or what needs to be done. The two sessions ended without me finding out more from her. My colleagues implies a few times that she might be abusing this weakness of mine.
My boss is asking for a review on her next week and I have no choice but to be honest with him. I think this might have been Jasmine’s last chance before they let her go. I just want to see if I could attempt one last time to talk to her, what do you suggest?
Congrats on being a manager! I’m sure your management thinks highly of you to put you up to such an esteemed position. Now I do empathize with you that you have to step up your game and it’s great that your team have your back. Seems to me that you have an amazing team!
I like that you took considerations about handling Jasmine’s missing in person actions. Perhaps subconsciously you don’t think she did it deliberately. What I suggest you could do to make absolutely sure that you give her the benefit of doubt. You can first talk to your team individually especially the ones that have been working closely with her, see if she is deem what seems to you. Don’t talk to them as a whole or it’ll seem that you are ganging the team behind her back. That’s a no no and that’s hurtful.
Next, have a talk with her ex-boss. Keep in mind he might be bias against her since he was the one who gave up on her. Check if her behavior is a recurring one. If you can, have a chat with her ex-team mates too, to get a more unbiased view. Sometimes, managers could form their own opinions against an employee but the views differ from the team. So when you gather feedback from first and second group, you can now safely form your own opinions about Jasmine.
Talk to her at one last attempt. Write down points that you would like to cover with her. Invite her and tell her that you have certain grounds you will like to cover and before she starts to get emotional and defensive, please do hear you out. Insist that this might be the last talk you are going to have with her before submitting a report about her performance to your boss. Be open with her on what are your views and what you have done prior to this talk, present the seriousness of the situation so that she’ll contain her emotions as much as possible. When you have cover all your points, allow her to explain. Tears or anger have no place in this talk if you and her wants the talk to be fruitful.
I wish all the best to you on your talk with her. I am sure you will be able to make a sound decision after the steps I have suggested.
Thank you for writing in and asking for suggestions!