Gen Y professional obliviousness - what's a good manager to do?
January 15, 2011 10:50 AM Subscribe
What to do about an oblivious young employee abusing a lenient work environment?
posted by nadise to Work & Money (60 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I manage a couple of people, working for a large creative company. One of the folks I manage is a young woman (Gen Y) for whom this is her first desk job.
She sometimes has a hard time grasping professionalism, such as when she has to ask permission to do things (like push a deadline) or what's just not cool in the workplace (like bringing the novel she's reading for pleasure to a meeting she thinks will be boring).
She has a baby who's under a year old, and who's been sick lately. She asked me Wednesday if she could work from home on Thursday to take care of her daughter, and had prepared material to bring home so she could be productive for a day or so.
On Friday morning I got an email saying she was going to work from home again. I bristled a bit because she wasn't asking, but I let it go because I would've said yes anyway and it's not that big a deal.
Here's the problem: mid-day on Friday, she posted a video to facebook with the caption "Look who forgot all about being sick". In the video is her husband, playing with the baby. She's holding the camera.
Question 1: Am I mistaken in thinking that she's abusing the leniency? If she needs to work from home to cover childcare for a sick kid that's one thing; if her husband is there, that doesn't appear to be what's going on. (They're a modern parental unit. He takes care of the kid solo sometimes.) I don't have kids, so there may be something I'm missing here.
Question 2: Am I wrong in thinking that posting this to facebook in the middle of a workday is flagrantly flaunting the leniency she's been given? She knows I follow her on Facebook daily, and this is likely another case of her professional obliviousness - she can't see what might be wrong with anything she's done.
Question 3: What (if anything) should I do about this? I want to be a responsible manager and a helpful mentor to her, not a douchebag boss.