HR Bees–help with a tricky employee?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I think you just have to have a serious talk with her. Say pretty much what you said here-she’s valuable and you know she doesn’t mean to come off that way, but she needs to try harder to speak nicely with customers so they feel more comfortable. If you let it continue your business is going to look bad. 

Post # 4
Hostess
9919 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

I have this same problem.  I come across as harsh and I don’t mean to.  It’s gotten me in ‘trouble’ at various jobs before.

I found that going over the conversation with people after, listening to the tone in which I was saying things and the language I was using was helpful.  We would often look at it from the ‘how could I have said it better’ perspective.  I hate it when people say ‘that’s just the way I am’ – it’s not an excuse, you can learn if you want to.

My old boss was like this, and we clashed, I spoke to her about HER tone when she was talking to employees because I couldn’t deal with the way she spoke to us (in front of customers).  I told her I understood that she didn’t mean it the way it was coming across but not everyone understands that – it worked, she got better and paid more attention to what she said.

Post # 5
Member
1362 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley

Is there a way to keep her from working directly with customers?

Is she embracing the constructive criticism and trying to make improvements, or is she simply defending herself?  Depending on which she does would influence my thoughts on her.

Post # 6
Member
3878 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Can you adjust her duties so she doesn’t interact with customers much? Barring that, could you maybe pair a younger employee with her who has great customer-service skills (you could frame it as the younger employee learning from a skilled veteran) – she might pick up a few things without feeling “taught” and the other employee might be able to keep the customer happier.

Post # 8
Member
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Maybe you can give her an actual list of things to improve (if she wants to work on it, that is) like: 1) make sure you’re smiling, 2) speak softly like you’re speaking to a kitten… whatever works even if it’s silly, maybe she can just keep a post-it up where she can see it when customers come in.

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