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Early Career Culture Wars: Successfully Manage New Starters

Feel like you’re facing an uphill battle when it comes to managing an employee who is starting their career, has had a career change, or is new to your business?

You’re not alone. Many managers find there is a gap between the attitude and expectations of such employees and the reality of the workplace and the needs of the business.

Overcome major challenges when managing new employees starting their career.

The result? Productivity can be impacted by employees not performing at their best and excessive amounts of management time being taken up (sometimes by issues that you would not expect to be issues at all).

So, here’s how managers can win when it comes to four common scenarios.

Lazy employees

Whether it’s a lack of workplace experience, being used to a slower pace / lower expectations with a previous employer or just a poor attitude, this employee works for your business now and they need to play by your rules (assuming these are fair reasonable, and achievable of course).

So, what can you do to try to prevent ‘a lazy employee problem’?

  • Avoid ‘communication gaps’ – Ensure all the employees you manage know from the get-go what is expected of them. Clear and appropriate performance targets and conduct standards are key.

You’d be surprised how often communication gaps lead to performance gaps – a manager quite reasonably expecting more from an employee than they are aware they need to deliver. The result? Sometimes an otherwise capable and willing employee can come across as lazy – a frustrating situation all round.

  • Support – Make sure those you manage have appropriate support and training and know that they can approach you if they are experiencing difficulties. Slowness or reluctance to take on a task can sometimes be down to confidence or a gap in skills. Bear in mind that there can occasionally be more serious issues at play, such as a disability impacting the employee and careful handling will be needed. If these things aren’t the case? You’ve put yourself in the best position to tackle any genuine issue of laziness.
  • Monitor – Appropriately monitor your team’s performance, this will enable you to spot and start to deal with any potential issues early on. This can save you time and effort in the long run.

Are you worried about an incompetent employee with short service in your business? If you are looking to exit them, you may be interested in our blog dismissing short-serving employees the easy way.

Do you have an employee with longer service? Speak to one of our experts immediately, and before acting.

Hungover employees

You’d like to think that employees would have more sense than to turn up to work hungover, but that’s not always the case!

A hangover is hardly conducive to peak performance and in many cases, a hungover employee will just be trying to stagger (hopefully not literally) through the working day. Strangely, some employees seem to think this is acceptable.

In many cases making it clear as part of employee inductions that staff are expected to attend work in a fit and unimpaired condition will do the trick and get things off on the right foot.

If that doesn’t work and you suspect an employee in your business has attended work whilst hungover, get in touch. Whilst such situations are understandably frustrating for managers, it’s important to handle them properly.

If your employee has two or more years of service, the first step will usually be to have an investigation meeting with them to find out what’s going on – this will be an important step, not least because the symptoms of a hangover could be due to a genuine illness.

Employees with poor attitude to constructive feedback

For most employees, constructive feedback which is delivered appropriately and based on solid grounds is simply part and parcel of working life.

Sometimes you may encounter an employee who is resistant to or even considers themselves to be above, receiving constructive feedback.

This attitude can turn what should be a simple task into a bit of a management nightmare – eating up time and often patience.

If you are facing this situation, the next time you need to give constructive feedback you might want to try:

  • Having a conversation about the purpose of giving constructive feedback generally – for the business and the employee. This may help the employee to understand where this fits into general management processes and company policies.

  • If the employee still seems resistant to the idea of being given constructive feedback or to taking on board the specific feedback they have been given, pick them up on it. Raise your concern about this, ask if it is the case and give them the opportunity to explain their view. This can help to get to the bottom of the situation / resolve the matter.

If it doesn’t, and the issue is ongoing or the employee raises something of concern get in touch for specific advice on how to handle the situation.

Poor timekeeping

Employees being late for work or late back from breaks can be a real bug-bear for managers and understandably so.

It can have a knock-on effect and impact other team members and the business as a whole.

The key here is to not let things slide – be clear and consistent across your business so employees know what the expected standards are.

Remember, there can be times when there may be a good reason for lateness, such as a dependent care leave and it’s important to act appropriately if such instances arise.

If timekeeping is becoming an issue for one of your employees, we can help you tackle it with specific advice on your case.

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