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  • FIRST POST
    • pegginout
    • By pegginout 12th Jul 18, 5:45 PM
    • 961Posts
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    pegginout
    My staff are doing my head in!!!!
    • #1
    • 12th Jul 18, 5:45 PM
    My staff are doing my head in!!!! 12th Jul 18 at 5:45 PM
    Im a newly appointed manager, with 3 staff to manage.
    My kitchen assistant constantly moans about the other 2 staff.
    They take too long for breaks, they dont do stuff right, its not fair because they had an ice lolly and they didnt.
    It!!!8217;s pathetic and doing my head in!
    I was promoted because someone left, no previous man mangement experience and nobody to really turn to to asj for advice, non of my friends are managers so cnat get advice from them.
    This lady has been with the company a long time, is good at her job but just moans alot!
    She started moaning today when we were getting changed to go home and i told her it was in my time now so i wasnt interested and i would deal with it next week when we were back on shift.
    She makes me feel intimidated and small.
    She does sometimes make some valid points, and i skirt anout them and try and fix the problem but she just comes up with something else then!
    Anyway she has !!!!ed the best chef we have ever had off now, he is so angry, i hope he doesnt quit.
    She says i favour him and he gets preferential treatment.
    I dont agree with her and think i treat everyone the same.
    Can anyone advise how to handle difficult this individual ?
    Last edited by pegginout; 12-07-2018 at 8:57 PM.
    Martin Lewis Rocks!
Page 1
    • warehouse
    • By warehouse 12th Jul 18, 5:48 PM
    • 3,083 Posts
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    warehouse
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 18, 5:48 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 18, 5:48 PM
    Get better staff.
    Pants
    • Les79
    • By Les79 12th Jul 18, 6:34 PM
    • 306 Posts
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    Les79
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 18, 6:34 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 18, 6:34 PM
    Well, you shouldn't be referring to her as a "cranky old bag" because staff management usually boils down to making do with what you've got. More so if she isn't actually doing anything wrong per se, but just being a bit "cranky" as you say (reflects badly on you/employer if you start jibbing people off whose personality you feel you don't want to manage).

    You just need to have a chat with her I reckon. Call her into a room and say something like, "look, I understand you have some grievances and I'll pick up any that you've got [make sure you do!] but we work as a team and I need everyone to be working towards that goal. So I just need your A game here and let's keep it a bit more positive in the workplace". You could even maybe ask HER what's going on, how is she feeling and asking for her input on how to improve things (good insight there) and then maybe talk it through. Both are good, but you've sort of got to gauge what would be best.

    One thing's for sure, you probably need to be a bit more assertive with her.
    • beckysheffield
    • By beckysheffield 12th Jul 18, 6:46 PM
    • 230 Posts
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    beckysheffield
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 18, 6:46 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 18, 6:46 PM
    Do you have a manager you can speak to?
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 12th Jul 18, 7:37 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:37 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:37 PM
    It is difficult, particularly if you haven't got much experience or support.

    Some thing which might help:

    1. You don't have to respond in the moment. IT's OK, if he raises an issue, to tell her you will give it some thought and get back to her (as long as you do then get back to her

    2. Listen to what she says, and consider what the effect is on her of things she is complaining about. Other staff taking excessive breaks if she has to cover their work is a legitimate gripe, as is them doing it wrong if that creates further problems.If she complains about things which don't impact on her and are not actual safety issues, then it's ok for you to be firm with her. Don't start by telling to mind her own business, use phrases like "I need you to focus on your job, and let me manage any issues with [coworkers]"

    3. It's also OK for you to set boundaries if she starts to complain, you can ask her if it is an emergency, and if not, tell her "I'm busy at present, if you've got a concern, come and find me at [time] and we can have a quick word", so that you can aim to cut down on some of the constant stream, while still leaving the way open for her to raise any actual concerns.

    What was she like before you were promoted? There are some people who can't live without a grievance and who will never be satisfied. They are exhausting to deal with, but it isn't personal!

    You might find the 'ask a manager' blog useful. It's american, so none of the legal stuff will apply, but you might find some of the advice helpful.

    How big is your organisation? Do you have a line manager you can ask for advice, or anyone at a similar level to you whose has been doing the job longer, who you might be able to talk to?
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 12th Jul 18, 7:44 PM
    • 1,276 Posts
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    Brynsam
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:44 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:44 PM
    Get yourself some training both in management skills and assertiveness. Your local authority almost certainly runs suitable courses.

    Or just go the library and ask for advice on what to read.
    • pegginout
    • By pegginout 12th Jul 18, 8:55 PM
    • 961 Posts
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    pegginout
    • #7
    • 12th Jul 18, 8:55 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jul 18, 8:55 PM
    Apologies, I put a laughing face as it was just a cheeky joke for the forum.
    Obviously I would never refer to anyone like that in real life.
    I have altered the post now
    Last edited by pegginout; 12-07-2018 at 8:58 PM.
    Martin Lewis Rocks!
    • pegginout
    • By pegginout 12th Jul 18, 9:10 PM
    • 961 Posts
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    pegginout
    • #8
    • 12th Jul 18, 9:10 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jul 18, 9:10 PM
    Thanks Les79 and Tbagpuss.
    I do have a manager above me but I don!!!8217;t want to seem like I!!!8217;m flaky and can!!!8217;t handle stuff.
    She has an issue with anyone in that role of chef, I used to do that job and she moaned about me years ago.
    I just think the way she goes about it is all wrong, moaning and being sarcastic isn!!!8217;t going to win any fans!
    She has upset everyone now, chef is upset, I am and the other lady feels really uncomfortable too.
    Hardest part of the job is the people
    Martin Lewis Rocks!
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 12th Jul 18, 9:18 PM
    • 19,196 Posts
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    jobbingmusician
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 18, 9:18 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 18, 9:18 PM
    Lesson 1 in being a manager - lots of people behave like 3 year olds at work.



    You've been given some great advice in some of the posts here. My aim as a manager was always to make people feel listened to and that their concerns were being taken seriously, and to demonstrate that I was being fair.



    For example, you could agree with the moany one that you will enforce timekeeping more strictly, but point out that this will apply to everyone and it will also mean that you are not available to be moaned at when your shift has finished. And/or you could suggest to her that rather than just coming to you with problems, she has a think about what would solve these problems.



    OK, you can implement timekeeping policies, but (for example) what does she want you to do about The Great Ice Lolly Problem? (And if she doesn't want you to do anything, point out to her that you aren't there to be used as a punchbag, and being moaned at for things you can't help with is making you quite depressed.)


    Hope some of this helps! I edited it to put some paragraph breaks in, as I felt it had turned into a bit of a rant.........
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    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 12th Jul 18, 9:33 PM
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    GlasweJen
    To deal with the chef problem I'd take them aside and tell them "sorry about old bag, off the record I wouldn't worry about her. She gave me a hard time when I did your job and she calmed down when I'd been in the job a while, you just have to learn how to handle her".

    For old bag I'd just tell her "I'm here to deal with management issues, not minor problems, if you want an ice lolly then go buy one. I will look into serious issues such as people taking too long for breaks but I don't want to hear about minor stuff and I don't want you intimidating the new chef".
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    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 12th Jul 18, 11:12 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    Thanks Les79 and Tbagpuss.
    I do have a manager above me but I don't want to seem like I'm flaky and can't handle stuff.
    Originally posted by pegginout
    Worth thinking about how you approach your manager though with a view to getting some training and support. Maybe along the lines of "I was really chuffed to be offered this promotion and I want to do the best job I can, but as you know I haven't got much experience of managing a team and I'd really appreciate any training. For example, I've found this course here which I think could be useful, unless our company has other courses they've used in the past which might be better."

    Tell yourself you're NOT flaky, and you CAN handle stuff, but you do need some help and support in doing so.

    I don't know what sort of company you work for or where you're based: I've done quite a few courses through our local Voluntary Services Council, and we've also used Activia Training.

    Also I don't know how old you are, but when I was in my 20s I was promoted way over my head, and all I was hearing from anyone senior to me was "you're really young to get this promotion, you should be SO grateful, not many people would be given this chance at your age." Mercifully it was 'only' to assistant manager, but in my manager's absence I had to deal with some delightful situations for which I was woefully unprepared.

    Then my manager left and I felt I had no choice but to apply for their job, still getting the "you're really young" stuff and STILL no training or support offered. Honestly, I can't tell you how relieved I was when they gave the job to someone else from a different department. And at THAT point, they started saying "But we all felt that [new manager] really couldn't have a better assistant than you." Which was true, because I was / am a sensible person who wouldn't undermine someone, especially when I didn't want their job!

    However, the stress of that time affected me quite badly, and I found another job soon after, without the responsibilities of managing people.

    I realised what a difference training and support would have made a couple of years later, when I was working for a university. They started a training programme for departmental secretaries, and although I wasn't actually one (because ours was a sub-division of a department and quite tiny), I was invited to join. It was really helpful, and I learned loads!

    Hardest part of the job is the people
    Originally posted by pegginout
    Too true!
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    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 13th Jul 18, 8:22 AM
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    getmore4less
    One strategy with perpetual moaners is to go more formal.

    Make them work for their moans.

    Have a meeting and go through the moan(s) in detail getting a very clear description of the problem and what they need to happen to resolve the situation, you don't have to agree any solutions or actions at that time.

    once steps are taken to resolve then if the moan continues or gets modified you can return to the pushing it back to the moaner that they are the problem.

    For some issues there is the we can't do anything unless you put a grievance in writing often they won't want the hassle.

    For the complaints where she is moaning that others are not doing their jobs right often the simple solution is to have process and procedures for everything and get the moaner to write them up as they obviously know better than everyone else on how stuff should be done they are the right one for the job.
    Once they realise that every time they moan they have to do the write up they often back off.

    Another strategy is to allocate the work to them till they are so busy they don't have time to moan.

    for the more important process and procedures like time keeping and break management then they should be done by the more senior like yourself.
    • dawyldthing
    • By dawyldthing 13th Jul 18, 7:35 PM
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    dawyldthing
    They have a point about folk being late though off breaks. Could do a one in one out on breaks as we had one that turned up late on shift (so kind of similar), so I got to the point of putting my coat on to get out the door when they arrived, turned up early to make a point and after several months they are starting to turn up on time.

    Tittle tackle I'd ask her to make a list over a week and have a meeting as sometimes small stuff turns into bigger stuff (I've not been a tl but we used to run it ourselves for a bit so got used to sorting our problems out) and then see what they are and see if there are things that need tackling
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    • pegginout
    • By pegginout 15th Jul 18, 12:40 PM
    • 961 Posts
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    pegginout
    Thanks everyone.
    I think I am going to speak to Chef and explain its her and not anything he had done.
    Then I will speak to her and listen to her gripes.
    I will then action the timekeeping and ask her what she would like me to do about other gripes. Hopefully by involving her it will make her feel like she has been listened to!
    Last edited by pegginout; 15-07-2018 at 1:42 PM.
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    • elsien
    • By elsien 15th Jul 18, 12:44 PM
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    elsien
    If it carries on you might at some point want to address the continuous moaning more directly. I had a team member who could be intimidating to new staff and we ended up having the "you've had bullying complaints made against you before, we're really not going there again are we?" conversation.
    Did the trick Till the next new starter....
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • AylesburyDuck
    • By AylesburyDuck 15th Jul 18, 12:52 PM
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    AylesburyDuck
    If it carries on you might at some point want to address the continuous moaning more directly. I had a team member who could be intimidating to new staff and we ended up having the "you've had bullying complaints made against you before, we're really not going there again are we?" conversation.
    Did the trick Till the next new starter....
    Originally posted by elsien
    I'm with elsien on this, and i'd be making it very plain that you will tolerate legitimate (contract based) grievances only, and that general moaning will not be tolerated as it impacts the team dynamics with its negativity, which in turn could raise a grievance about herself!
    ,
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    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 15th Jul 18, 4:27 PM
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    theoretica
    Hopefully by involving her it will make her feel like she has been listened to!
    Originally posted by pegginout

    On the other hand you want to avoid giving her a feeling of too much importance and that she runs the place. I suggest trying to make any discussions about her, not other people. Certainly listen, but point out you won't discuss colleagues with her, any more than you would discuss her with them. You could point out her general moaning masks any legitimate concerns.
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    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 16th Jul 18, 9:03 AM
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    getmore4less
    On the other hand you want to avoid giving her a feeling of too much importance and that she runs the place. I suggest trying to make any discussions about her, not other people. Certainly listen, but point out you won't discuss colleagues with her, any more than you would discuss her with them. You could point out her general moaning masks any legitimate concerns.
    Originally posted by theoretica
    Throw that Aesop's fable into the discussion.
    • Samsung_Note2
    • By Samsung_Note2 16th Jul 18, 9:46 AM
    • 494 Posts
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    Samsung_Note2
    Simple..just tell the people below you that they are not important and can be replaced on your whim...at a click of your fingers..they are no more worthy than the rotten eggy smell that escapes your bottom.

    You on the other hand are a vital part of the company and with out you the whole business would collapse,staff would be got rid of and the world would stop spinning.

    If they stand and laugh at you..then simply say in a very loud voice "Dont you know who i am".

    None of the above will help your situation obviously...but might give the poor old staff a good giggle.
    If my appalling spelling offends you that much...dont read my posts.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 16th Jul 18, 11:35 AM
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    ohreally
    You could point out her general moaning masks any legitimate concerns.
    Originally posted by theoretica
    The legitimate concern is yet another out of their depth "manager".
    Donít be a canít, be a can.
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