Staff disrespectful and refusing to take responsibility

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  1. I have recently been promoted to a managerial position with very little experience actually managing someone. I have always been an active leader and in past roles, I typically managed projects and have no problem coordinating or delegating tasks.

    However, my company recently hired someone who I am just finding impossible to work with. They were hired while I was away on vacation, when I returned I was immediately promoted to a new position which included being her manager.

    She has a "holier than thou" attitude and constantly questions every task I ask her to do. Her position is very entry level and I understand some of the tasks are not very fun, but we all start somewhere. She doesn't believe certain things should be her responsibility such as emptying the dishwasher, stocking the kitchen, or distributing mail. She is constantly suggesting in a very condescending tone that the other employees should not have to be "babied" so much and should be more independent.

    One of her responsibilities is preparing the mail both regular and overnight. When the CEO's EA (who is also new) came to ask for assistance, my admin told her, "Here is the login information and password, I am sure you are fullly capable of handling this yourself". The EA walked away dumbfounded and asked me for assistance. She didn't say anything to my admin because she was new and thought that maybe she had been explained the process incorrectly. When I questioned my admin she said, "well, I am only supposed help if they ask." She didn't pick up on the subtly of the EA saying, "How do I go about sending this overnight package", and thought instead the EA should have requested, "Please send this package overnight" directly.

    I sent her an email last week that included an excel file in it with one example I had already input. I then came out to her desk, went over it with her and left her on this for a week. I received it yesterday in MS Access! What the heck?! When I questioned her, I said, "I sent you the excel file last week which I wanted these items input into" she immediately replied with, "NO, YOU DIDN'T". Not a, "Oh, I don't remember that", not a "Oh, let me check". Of course I said, "Yes, I did. I will resend it to you" I then resend to her (which included original email date/time), return to her desk and she says, "I never got this". When I tell her that I know she did because when I came to her desk I went over it with her. She tells me, "No we didn't".

    I am at my wit's end with this one. I do not know how to get through to her. I have told her numerous times that mistakes are ok, and I don't expect her to be perfect. But she can't/won't own up to anything. She has clearly listed incorrect dates and other information and when asked, she finally will say, "The only mistake I made was that date" and then blames someone else involved for not catching it.

    Please help. I want to be able to work together with her, but obviously whatever I am doing is just not working.

    (apologies for grammar/punctuation)
  2. I would sit her down and have a talk with another person present (preferably someone in HR). Get out a copy of her job description and go over it in detail so she knows exactly what she is expected of her. Let her know that if she cannot abide by her job description, she is free to seek other employment. Explain to her the problems with her attitude and why is has to change. Again, if she wants to argue, she can walk. And let her know that from that point forward, any issues with her attitude will result in disciplinary action.

    I've never been a maganger, but I have sat in on these types of meetings before as a witness. Sometimes, the results of the meetings are positive...sometimes, not so much. But, the situation always got resolved one way or another.
  3. This sounds exactly like admin staff I have had in the past (ones I "inherited" as you did).

    I would review her job description so I had a good understanding what was expected (being that you didn't hire her be sure you know what is expected), meet with her to go over her job description, ask her if there are any reasons you need to be aware of as to why she cannot fulfill all responsibilities, tell her that her attitude needs adjusting and that further instances would result in formal disciplinary action.

    Afterward, I would recap the meeting in a memo and have her sign it.

    She's on probation, no? How long is the probationary period in your company?

    Good luck. I know how miserable staff like this can be. I recall posting a thread about my admins from hell in a brand new job I was in. They were there before me and were not happy about having a new manager. I re-read my thread every now and again and I can laugh at the absurdity of it now but at the time it was horribly stressful.
  4. document document document. that's my advice.
  5. Document, and performance improvement plan. I'm stuck with two of these right now, and I'm not even managing them. My manager was at her wit's end, and now she's gone. :sad:
  6. if she's not on probation do you have the ability to put her on probation??
  7. It's ok to think this to yourself but as a manager its not a good idea to tell this to your employees. Unfortunately there are many people who like to try and take advantage of those who they think are "nice". It sounds like you are going to have to put your foot down with this one. You may even have to write her up. What is your company policy on this?

  8. :tup:
  9. Fire her.

    I'm serious. Two things you can't train; attitude and willingness. Entitlement should not be indulged in the workplace.

    If you can't fire her for some reason, sit down with a written performance plan and go over it with her. Have HR present. Explain that her job is to make the work lives of other employees do things for them because their time is better spent on other things that make the company money, and if she's not willing to do that, she should quit.
  10. She's a liar and insubordinate. Document, warn, document, check in with HR, fire.

    unfortunately there is little you can do with some people.
  11. ^^ITA! I'm guessing she must be in some type of probationary period since she just started? Good time to part ways.

    Is she young? Not that it matters but hopefully for her sake she'll out grow this.
  12. I think she should be put on probation and then be let go.

    One thing I learned about any position is that it is replaceable. In these difficult times, those that can't appreciate doing the basic requirements of their jobs should just quit or go elsewhere. As posters mentioned above, you can't train ego and attitude.
  13. in my experience, if i couldn't get the job done, i'd be fired.
    if she is not doing her part, depends on the size of the company, you can talk to the HR or your cannot depend on someone who you have to carry that dead weight.
  14. If I could, I would multi quote everything people in this thread have previously posted. Such great advice.

    I would issue a written warning, document it with HR and fire her if she didn't do a 180.

    doreenjoy said it perfectly: you can't train attitude & willingness.
  15. #15 Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
    You can't let her get away with that type of behaviour. For someone in an entry level position, she should be on her best behaviour. It baffles my mind how someone just starting out can act that way. There are so many great, qualified college graduates out there that are desperate for a job and would die for the position she's in. Just remember that YOU are the boss. You need to make her realize that you are the one in charge and if she's giving you issues, there will be consequences. You need to put your foot down.

    If i were you, i would just fire her(but i understand it may not be that easy). I wouldn't want someone with that type of attitude to be working for me. She can't seem to do the job properly and doesn't sound like she's willing to learn from her mistakes. In fact she doesn't even admit to making mistakes. That is a bad trait to have. If she acts this way now, i doubt she'll get any better. If you could fire her, i suggest you do. There are many other qualified individuals who would be happy to take her place.