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manolla's avatar

How to manage an employee when you don't have much experience in that particular field?

Asked by manolla (795points) March 29th, 2011

In my office, our manager is away most of the time, so some staff members have to report to me, including a guy in the IT department,I am good at my work but don’t have strong managment experience. I had a strong feeling that he was an idiot when he first joined us, everytime I ask him something, he just stares at me and freezes there, and I thought that it may be due to comunication problems, but now, other people in the office started to notice that he is uninteligent, I even got in an IT solution company to help him out and to train him and hand over the IT tasks to him and they got back to me and said that they don’t think that he is inteligent enough to take over, they even offered to explain the things to me so that I can take over, but I don’t want to have to keep on doing his work, I already have enough things to handle, and now its just me who cares if something that is IT related isn’t functioning, because he just starts doing somthing and just leaves it if he is faced with any problems, and doesn’t get back to me on it.

Can anyone please suggest to me on how to manage this type of person and what would be that best way to report to the managment about him, since at the end they are the ones that are paying him his salary, and its thier duty to get rid of him, if that is required.

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8 Answers

HudsonHero's avatar

Documentation is huge. Assign tasks and follow through on checking if they are done. If he can’t complete assigned work, document that when it happens. You need to have a paper trail to prove what is going on.

JLeslie's avatar

If he is really incompetent you will have to start documenting.

As a manager one way to get people to perform is to include them in coming up with solutions. Ask him for his opinion on how things can be better. People tend to follow through on their own ideas, rather than just being told what to do. Maybe ask him how you can help him when he hits an obstacle? Let him see you want to partner with him to accomplish what needs to be done. Some people fear punishment, and when they hit an obsticle try to ignore or hide it, and hope their boss doesn’t find out. Give him a chance to see it is ok if he has a minor hiccup in getting something done, and ok to tell you as long as he has a solution to how he can fix it.

john65pennington's avatar

How did this person get hired, anyway?

If it is your job to do so, then tell it like it is to upper management. You have test evidence to prove your findings. I dislike having to do my job and someone elses.

This is a tough call for you, but I am sure upper management will appreciate your information. One other thought. Is this person in a dangerous position, where his actions might hurt the rest of the employees?

Just do it. (he is not the boss’s son, is he?).

marinelife's avatar

Write down what his problems are. (Give concrete examples of each of them such as failing to complete tasks, failing to follow through and communicate, etc.).

Sit down with whoever has hiring/firing power over him and go through the report with them. Offer to be part of the committee that will replace him (since you are so impacted by his work or lack of work).

woodcutter's avatar

Start with putting a help wanted sign out front. That usually gets them thinking.

manolla's avatar

@HudsonHero I will have to start doing that, I have always maintained a relationship based on trust with the rest of the staff that they none have failed me so far, so I wasn’t used to a person like him before, so I didn’t even think about that.

@JLeslie This guy has no interest at all in using his brains, he’ll just depend and wait for someone else to find a solution for him to do, that is what is so frustrating about him, if he had interest to learn and ask for help in what he can’t do, I would have been more than happy to support him, I even got a IT solutions company to support him and train him with the difficulties he has, but I ended up explaining everything we need to them and understanding how to maintain it, his cooperation level with them was almost zero, he just sits there as if the office isn’t none of his concern.

manolla's avatar

@john65pennington he was just randomly selected and he isn’t anyone’s son. The managment is actually not interested in dealing with him, I tried to let them see it with thier own eyes that he isn’t doing his work right, but I sometimes feel that they are keeping him there just to test me, and they are more angry at me that I am not able to manage this guy.

The problem is more from the managment, I am in my early 20’s and gratuated recently, I am very good at what I do, I just don’t have experience and don’t like managing others. He is in his mid 30’s so he doesn’t take my instructions seriously, I don’t think that I can manage him because he just doesn’t respect me as a manager.

Thank’s everyone for all the suggestions.

JLeslie's avatar

@manolla Then you don’t need to manage him you need to fire him. Find out your company’s policy for letting someone go and do it. Most companies require writing someone up a few times, even in at will states, especially if he is in a protected group. When you write him up formally he has a chance to get his act together, or he might find his own new job, or you might have to write him up a few times to be able to fire him. It’s a pain if he does stick around even if he is on his way out, but the sooner you start the better probably.

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