BLUF: New manager would appreciate advice on how to address significant performance issues when MT Trinity has not been rolled out (yet).
I’ve been with my company 10 years in a different department; 6 months ago I was promoted to lead a team of 28, comprised of 3 managers and 25 customer service reps. Although the 3 managers each have their own teams, making the 25 customer service reps my skips, our company culture is such that the role of the manager is mainly to assign work. Performance issues have historically been handled by the person in my role. Oh, by the way, I have NO PRIOR MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE.
Fortunately, I discovered MT 2 months ago; just started rolling out the Trinity with the three managers—literally, just started O3s this week. They are excited that I’m taking an interest in their development beyond just how well they can assign work to their teams. I’ve already prepped them that my expectation is that they will roll out the Trinity to their teams, as well & they are receptive to broadening their roles.
In the meantime, there have been some significant performance issues with one of my skips over the past month, resulting in 4 monetary write-offs, escalation to my boss, and possibly even loss of a mid-size client (going out to bid largely because of service they received from this employee). From what I gather, this employee has had similar issues in the past on a smaller scale, but they were never addressed by the former director (maybe a verbal warning, but nothing beyond). Now the issues are escalating and the skip has been conditioned to zero accountability.
I need to take some kind of action—I really can’t wait until the Trinity is fully rolled out because I don’t want the skip to think that I approve of the behavior. Although the behaviors I’m seeing have been tolerated by the previous director, they are not acceptable to me. What I believe is really needed is coaching. The issues are systemic—multiple instances of assorted ineffective and unprofessional behaviors (for example, rude email communications to internal and external customers and clients; failure to perform required duties; incorrect information provided to customers; circumventing his manager and me to try and cover up mistakes). I have been addressing each incident as it arises, but not with MT feedback. I’ve intentionally not provided feeback using the MT model because I don’t want it to be diluted when the Managers roll it down to their teams. Maybe this is the wrong approach, but given the magnitude of some of the issues, feedback alone seems too small.
I have reason to believe (based on past behavior) that this employee will not be receptive to feedback or coaching regardless of how it is given. He routinely calls in sick the day after he's been given any type of less-than-positive feedback and he gave his former manager the "silent treatment' for several weeks after he refused to do an assigned task and the Manager raised his voice to the employee within earshot of other team members (note: in that instance, the manager was reprimanded for raising his voice, but the employee was not held accountable whatsover for refusing to do assigned work for no reason other than that he didn't like that he was told to do it, rather than asked to do it).
My question is two-fold:
- Should I proceed with the MT coaching model with this employee, even though they haven’t had one-on-ones and feedback yet?
- And if so, what role should the Manager play in coaching? He is currently only assigning work to this employee (his direct/my skip), but my vision is to broaden the scope of his managerial responsibilities to include rolling out of the Trinity to his team, thereby addressing performance issues that would have been handled by the person in my role in the past. The Manager agrees that the behaviors of the skip need to be addressed and I’m sure will be a willing participant in coaching.
I’m new here and would value the opinions of experienced managers. If there are any clarifying questions, I’ll be happy to answer them. Any advice is both welcomed & appreciated.
Thanks in advance,