How do I manage a resistant employee?
March 31, 2011 4:07 AM Subscribe
How do I manage a resistant employee? I'm new to this job and I need some advice on people management of a difficult person.
posted by dawn_chorus to Work & Money (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I manage a team of 8 press officers for a charity - 3 of them are senior. One of the senior press officers is resistant to being managed by me. By this I mean she always has a reason ready why something cannot be done - either she is waiting for information from another department (which is valid and happens) or she uses her past experience to say why my suggestions and guidance are not the right way to do things. In a nutshell she's negative and says why things can't be done instead of how they can be done. Also, she spends too much time getting involved in the internal politics of who she's working with rather than focusing on her work, and that has the effect of her working longer hours than necessary and feeling underappreciated.
Overall, however, she gets her job done well.
I am looking for ways to address this with her and build up respect between us so I can actually have influence with her and manage her the way I believe is right. Any pointers?
Background: I am new at this job (10 weeks in) and in this field. Previously I've been a journalist working in global news and this job is at a large international charity. So, I am trying to establish myself in the workplace as a new manager (building relationships etc), get to grips with a new field of work and the practices of a new organization.
Here's an interesting detail - last summer I interviewed for a job here, which I didn't get but led me to be hired for the better position I am now in. That post would have been working under the senior press officer I am now finding difficult. She was on the interview panel then. I'm not sure if this is playing a role in my difficulty with her or not, but I've got a hunch that it is (gut instinct rather than proof).