Left to pick pick up the mess with an underperforming report
Sorry this is VERY long but here it is:
Here I am in my first role where I directly manage someone – and it’s a difficult situation. For my report is entirely unsuited to the task.
Not only can she not manage even the simplest of administration tasks with consistent accuracy, but there are no signs that this will change.
Any feedback to improve the situation is greeted with a stream of excuses, and it is clear that as the fault is never with the report then the need to improve is not hers either. Feedback that has included the observation that why x, y or z went wrong is not the issue, but the need for it not to happen again is the only consideration doesn’t work either, as this seems to be interpreted as “well no blame, no need to improve then” rather than the desired improvement in behaviour.
As if that isn’t bad enough, this report shows no indication that she can ever grow into other aspects of the job at all. In IT Support a need for problem solving and adapting existing knowledge to try to identify and therefore solve the issue is basic to the cause. Here we have someone who responds to anything new by insisting that if she as not seen exactly this sequence of events before and has received detailed instruction on how to solve the problem then she can not be expected to do more than pass it on. And then with no belief that she should get the details.
Her skill levels are non-existent. After 8 months in the job she still has to be shown how to rename files, and every task no matter how simple has to be shown time and time again.
After three months this staff member should have been let go. But she had accused my predecessor of bullying her, so she was given another chance. Another month went by but still they did not get rid of her. HR would not allow another month on trial, so she was confirmed in the post and I was taken on as her line manager.
After three months it is clear that she will never make it in the role she has. So I am left with having to go through the lengthy process of getting rid of her - with both my line manager and the IT director keen for her to be replaced ASAP.
And now she’s been on sick leave (for which she is unpaid, by the way) for a month. No sign of her returning but also no chance of getting a replacement in.
And I am left overworked, having to do her job as well as mine at a time when we have just taken over another company so are already stretched to the limit. My own duties are suffering, our customers (internal) are suffering and there seems no end in sight.
All the coaching models carry on as if any one can be turned around, but here we have someone who just does not have the spark, the mindset much less the ability to learn the skills she needs to progress in a career in IT. Or if she does, I don't have time to tease it out.