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Why Can't They Just Do Their Job?!

It’s so frustrating when employees spend too much time on social media, or focus on their kids' activities more than their job, or have body odor. I just finished teaching a Vital Learning course that covered all of those issues. Yes, including the stinky employee.

The bottom line is that employees are going to have some bad habits, especially when they are starting out in their careers. It’s your job as their boss to address those issues. Here are 6 tips to help you deal with these types of issues today:

  1. Never confront an employee in front of others. If you’re in a small office, schedule a walk together to talk about the situation.

  2. Meet in person or over the phone if you are in separate locations. Stay away from email-only conversations when you’re coaching them to change a habit. You can follow up with an email to recap the conversation.

  3. Be specific; focus on behavior and use facts. Sticking to specific points will make the discussion more professional and less personal.

  4. Restate expectations. Some employees don’t know or forget what is expected of them in the first place. It helps to anchor your discussion in your company's core values.

  5. Engage the employee. Discuss ways that the employee can solve the problem and come up with their own solutions so they own the problem and the solution in the end.

  6. Schedule a short, follow-up meeting to see how things are going so you can reinforce a great work habit or continue coaching.

Developing positive work behavior doesn’t always come naturally for many employees at any age. Make it your challenge to help you teammates grow in their careers by improving habits that they’ll have for a lifetime.

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