Submitted by tg4dk on
Here's my situation. I personally hate long stories of work drama but I'm finding myself in one. I have a dental office of myself and 10 staff members. One of my hygienists approached me late last winter and told me that she was looking to move across state to be nearer friends and fresh adventure, but she wasn't sure of when--she hoped to move by late summer, early fall and she would give adequate notice to find a replacement. Fair enough, people have a right to move and work where they please. She's been an above average performer for my office for 6 years now. Very much a high C, Gil Grissom type--not much into team, very introverted but very competant. Spring forward to now--I ask for a status update and she tells me Wow, the job market is tight (no kidding!) and she's really unsure of when it might occur because she has no current leads on a job in the new location. The problem? She's still performing her technical work at an acceptable level but in her words she's "checked out". She's not being a "teammate" much any more. Not participating in team meetings, not being a part of the group. I have the rest of the staff now questioning me about her--is she leaving, when is she leaving, what's up with her. Obviously this can't continue--morale is suffering and I need to do something. So the question I have for those much better at managing things like this is--What? What is my next best action? Thanks to anyone giving their thoughts.
Check Back In - With Notice.
Are you doing O3's with her. In the O3, inform her that you empathize with her on not being able to relocate as planned due to the economy. Then ask her which would she prefer, you coach her on how to find a job in that area or just have her give you an update once a month.
Offer to make references to people you know in that area or to someone in your network that can help. Get her on someone's bench.
Inform her that she can't be "Checked Out " indefinately, and that her performance will have to return to the level it was before she decided to go. Ask her what would she like to do not that she is staying?
Then up the feedback frequency on positive first, and then the negative to shoot across her bow to show that you mean it.