being the boss

All your questions about being the boss, answered — like dealing with low performers, lateness, weird feedback, and more.

a fired employee showed up to our office party

A reader writes: I had to fire someone two weeks ago for serious time and attendance issues. (It’s shift work, so punctuality is really necessary, and this person was routinely 30+minutes late, even after multiple warnings and chances to improve.) In a fit of generosity, I agreed that we wouldn’t contest unemployment, and I even […]

Read the full article →

our receptionist is rude to people

A reader asks: The receptionist in my office is the first to answer the phone, and she is the first one clients see when they walk in the door. A big part of her job is customer service, but lately I’ve received complaints about her interactions with people — two from other employees and two […]

Read the full article →

my employee keeps falling asleep in meetings

A reader writes: I have noticed that one employee tends to doze off at our weekly departmental meeting. I don’t believe she has any medical condition that would cause this, and I don’t see her dozing off at other times. But I’ve noticed the dozing off many times during these weekly meetings (usually held after […]

Read the full article →

my employee can’t accept that his work is bad

A reader writes: I’ve put a staff member on to a formal performance improvement plan, but despite me providing feedback and taking multiple approaches to get through to him, he doesn’t seem to be able to grasp just how poorly he is doing. I want him to succeed and have supported many conversations, participation in […]

Read the full article →

my employee is bad at taking feedback

A reader writes: I have a new employee who’s very organized and ambitious and generally competent, but she is terrible at receiving feedback. After reading your column for a while, I’ve tried to incorporate your advice. I’ll say things like “I’ve noticed you’ve been doing this X way, but we actually do it Y way […]

Read the full article →