Hello Everyone!

I just started at a new company last week. I am doing something very different but still managing a team. My leadership team has me on a 6 week training plan before I actually start managing the team. I think this is wonderful because I get a chance to learn everything and focus on learning a completely new business. 

I had some quick "get to know you' one one one's last week just to talk with everyone and get to know them a little better and let them get to know me.

For the most part the conversations were positive and mostly about life outside of work (I plan on having more work centered conversations soon).  I am a new manager at this company so I expected some skeptisim of me. I was brought into this role to transform the team, initiate and see through process improvement and make changes for the better. My leadership wants and said they'll support my input.

One of my employees was VERY negative. He told me to go read glassdoor because everything is true. He had no specifics just that specific people are "the worst." I told him I would love his feedback as I would like to make things better with his assistance. He just kept going on and on about previous leadership teams. I'm taking everything with a grain of salt as I haven't been here long enough to know if his criticisims are valid or not. He told me he didn't want to elaborate as he might "talk himself out of a job."

Any suggestions on how I can get him to open up a bit more?

adacosta83's picture

Hi Faye, congratulations on your new job. 

You're starting on the right foot by meeting with each of your new directs privately.  That's a great first move to start building relationships with the people around you.

Regarding your negative employee, consider using future one on ones to ask open ended questions so he can expand on his explanations.  Try asking questions like 'tell me more about your experience working here' or 'you suggested I read the Glassdoor, tell me how that applies to this office?'

Some people are negative, even when there is nothing to be negative about.  If he continues to stay ambiguous about his observations consider moving on from the topic and focus on building your relationship with him through more one on ones, getting to know him and his professional goals and work.

It's easy to get into a vortex of negativity.  Our focus as leaders should really be on middle and top performers to continue to make them great and leverage their strengths.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.