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Submitted by JenKellyJen on


Good morning,

I have a direct in charge of her directs. She submitted some work for my review, got feedback and was to have her direct adjust the work based on the feedback. Instead, she did the work and resubmitted it. The work was not done well and alerted me to ask "Did Paul write this?" Paul is her direct.

She then said no, that she did the work. When asked why, she said she was trying to help because it was faster for her to do it than brief Paul.

For background, she's had directs in our company for 24 months and every 6 weeks or so something like this occurs. The rest of the time she is fine to delegate, knows the process. All works smoothly, she's really good at that work. But randomly (and like clockwork, every 6 weeks or so) a project will come in that she has done instead of having the directs do it. The directs are experts in webdesign, writing, graphic design...skills that one can't just pick up.

She'll go design a logo or create a web page or write a blog entry...these three examples should have been assigned to the direct with the skill, but randomly she'll pick one of these to do. It throws a wrench into the quality, process and flow of the organization.

I have talked to her about it and she always comes back with the reason that she was trying to help or thought they (they directs) were swamped and she could just quickly do it. Which is crazy as she has a full plate of stuff that doesn't get done because she had spent time on this random direct's project. This situaltion came up again this week, it's frustrating me as I am unsure what I am missing to get the point across to eliminate this problem. She is in her mid 30s, this is not her first job nor is her first job managing people.  I'd appreciate any podcast that covers this, or any other advice. Thanks - Jen

LEmerson's picture

There is a podcast on feedback. The feedback podcast talks about explaining the behavior you want to change, telling the direct the negative impact of the behavior (such as "It throws a wrench into the quality, process, and flow of the information"), and getting a commitment from the direct they will change the behavior.

Do you have scheduled weekly one-on-ones with your directs? If not, that could help the direct focus on how you want things done, instead of the direct occasionally deciding she has a better way to do it.

I've had a few directs along the way where I would give feedback, they'd comply for a while, then I'd find them doing the same thing that caused the original feedback, and it's like we'd never discussed it. When I'd bring them in for another feedback session they'd act surprised I thought it was an issue. Anyone can slip and need to be given the same instructions a couple of times, but when it happened repeatedly I felt it necessary to implement a Performance Improvement Plan.


JenKellyJen's picture
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This is very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to respond. We do have weekly 1:1 meetings. Your Performance Improvement Plan is the next step. Thank you.