being the boss

employee’s long bathroom breaks are tying up our bathroom

A reader writes: We own and operate a retail hardware store that has been in business for 35 years. We employ 8-10 staff and operate in a little under 6,000 square feet. One employee who has been with us for over five years. He is vital to our small operation. However, he routinely takes extended […]

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I had to fire someone and I feel like a failure

A reader writes: I’m in a position that I’ve never been in before. In 2018, I took on a really exciting role with a new company building a team from the ground up. I hired a handful of people, and got to work setting up the new team and really helping to grow a new […]

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my employee refuses to use her coworker’s correct pronouns

A reader writes: I am a new manager at a medium sized public library. One of my employees came out as non-binary last summer and has started using a new name, “Alex,” and they/them pronouns. Their new name has been pretty easy for staff to pick up, but the pronouns have been challenging for all […]

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how to talk to an employee about a struggling coworker

A reader writes: I manage a junior employee, “Arthur,” who has become friends with another employee at his level, “Ford.” Ford works on a different client team with a different manager (“Zeke”). Ford has been significantly underperforming. It’s been clear for a while that he isn’t well-suited for this position. Ford’s manager, Zeke, has been […]

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my employee is level 10 drama all the time

A reader writes: I’m the assistant director for a very small company that provides vocational training. Our classes are heavily regulated by the state, and there are a number of additional rules in place due to Covid. We are doing the best we can overall, and thus far it looks like we may be able […]

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how can I convince my employee not to work until 2 AM?

A reader writes: I am a manager who has a great team and several high-performing employees. We are all working from home these days due to COVID. One of my employees in particular will often stay up late into the night working on assignments I have given her. I know this because she will send […]

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our staff aren’t underpaid but think they are

A reader writes: I work at a nonprofit with about 200 staff. Staff constantly bring up how underpaid they are and ask for bonuses, cost-of-living increases, better benefits, everything. They take up a lot of meeting time talking about it, send all-staff emails, badger the board, send nasty emails to any committee that has anything […]

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what to do when a low performer asks for a massive raise

A reader writes: One of my employees has handed me a letter asking for a promotion and a 30% pay raise, detailing their desired new job title and new job description! This letter has shocked me, to say the least, as this person is underperforming in his current role and only last week he and […]

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how to manage an employee with anxiety

A reader writes: I have a talented employee who gets paralyzed trying to do new things. When there is a roadmap and it’s something he’s comfortable with, he does a great job. He’s smart and his ideas are usually great. To move into the next step in his career, he needs to start driving new […]

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my employee keeps criticizing my food

Dear AAM, We had a pandemic baby and we decided for safety reasons it was better to be exposed to one person (a nanny) versus the potentially hundreds in a daycare setting. The expense for even 40 hours of her time is a tight squeeze for us, but we’ve found someone who is overall fantastic. […]

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