What do you when … you see your employee slamming you on IM?

Welcome to the first installment of the What do you do when … series, where we are tackling how to handle your employee problems. Now let’s get to work!

You’re putting something on John’s desk while he’s off getting some coffee. A live chat window is open on John’s screen – and it shows that John has some not-so-nice things to say about the way you’re running the place.

You’re shocked. John seems like such a happy employee! What is this? You are red in the face, ready to confront him and send him packing.

Now wait a minute. Before you do that, let’s think about a few things first:

    1. Have you ever talked smack about your boss before? Come on, now. Of course you have. You probably had enough sense not to write about your boss on a computer in his own office, but more than likely, you’ve slammed your boss before. So, it happens. You wish everyone thought you were perfect, but that’s not realistic.

 

    1. If you do confront John, you are admitting that you looked on his computer. Granted, you technically own that computer, and your employees should have no expectation of privacy there. But how does it feel? Doesn’t it make you a little bit like Big Brother?

 

  1. Except for this slip-up, is John a good employee? If you hadn’t seen this, how would you feel about him? If he’s great, no issues, let it go. If he’s not great, and there are issues, deal with them. In either case, making a note in his personnel file is a good idea.

Whatever you do, don’t run off to your IT guy to get the chat logs from every user and spend hours reading through them — looking at what people are saying about you. (Who has the time for that?) Don’t ban IM tools. Don’t overreact to what was most likely a careless comment.

Improving Employee Relations: Solutions to 5 employee problems

Have enough confidence in your leadership, in your position as the business owner, not to let John’s comments get to you. Let it go, and move on to something more worth your time.

How would you handle this situation? 

Next Wednesday: What do you do when … one of your employee smells.
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Comments

  1. Marty Vernon says:

    Great post Brad. I think a good solution also might be (depending on the size of the office) let them know that you were walking by and accidentally saw the screen, and (depending on what their remarks were on their computer) that you feel things aren’t going so great either (get on their side) and ask what they think could be done to improve things.

    • Marty;

      I don’t think you are wrong here either. If you do think there are things that need to improve, it’s always better to have an open conversation about it. I just don’t want to make mountains out of molehills. Most of the time griping is just griping, there’s not really anything to be “done” about it.

      Thanks for joining in the discussion!

  2. Marty Vernon says:

    Great post Brad. I think a good solution also might be (depending on the size of the office) let them know that you were walking by and accidentally saw the screen, and (depending on what their remarks were on their computer) that you feel things aren’t going so great either (get on their side) and ask what they think could be done to improve things.

    • Marty;

      I don’t think you are wrong here either. If you do think there are things that need to improve, it’s always better to have an open conversation about it. I just don’t want to make mountains out of molehills. Most of the time griping is just griping, there’s not really anything to be “done” about it.

      Thanks for joining in the discussion!

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