Q: One of my employees can’t seem to get along with anyone. “Jenny” does excellent work, but she is extremely critical of her colleagues and constantly makes insulting remarks about them.
Q: One of my employees can’t seem to get along with anyone. “Jenny” does excellent work, but she is extremely critical of her colleagues and constantly makes insulting remarks about them. When people disagree with her, she cuts them off and refuses to listen. On her worst days, Jenny will fly into hysterical tirades and threaten to sue everyone for harassment.
So far, Jenny has shown no sign of taking responsibility for these damaged relationships. Her midyear review is coming up, and I want to make it clear that this disruptive behavior needs to change. However, despite all the drama, I don’t want to lose her. How should I approach this discussion?
A: You don’t want to lose her? Really? Based on your description, I would expect you to throw a party if Jenny announced she was leaving. Her long-suffering colleagues would undoubtedly be jubilant. While this woman may excel at certain tasks, she has obviously failed miserably at the basic job requirement of working well with others.
To determine whether Jenny is capable of change, you will need to engage in a very firm and direct performance-coaching process. This plan must include specific consequences for noncompliance, up to and including termination of employment. If you refuse to consider that option, you will automatically give Jenny the power to ignore your requests.
Submit questions to Marie G. McIntyre at yourofficecoach.com.