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Performance Eval.

I have an employee that I will be meeting with to discuss her Performance Evaluation. She is constantly complaining about her workload. How do I tell her and write this on her Performance eval form that no one wants to hear this. Thank you Serena

Submitted by: Debbie

 

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I do not believe that an employee should be "surprised" by anything during a performance evaluation, especially something that could possibly lower their standing. A good mentor/supervisor should meet with an employee as soon as an issue comes to light to address the problem at hand. Good Luck! Shelley Mickel on 12/29/2009 11:34:37 AM
Rather than just telling her no one wants to hear that she's overworked, you might want to take a look at her workload to see if there is any justification to her complaining. Ask her to jot down how much time she is spending on each task and review it with her each week. You might either be surprised to find what she has on her plate or she might be surprised at how much time she might actually be wasting throughout the day. I would also suggest enrolling her in some managing priorities course and share some of the wonderful articles that are written in the Executary publication with her. Good luck! AEAP on 3/6/2008 6:16:34 AM
The issue here is not the workload but the employee's complaining. Her actions are demoralizing for those who have to put up with it and it does not have to be tolerated. She is obviously not happy with her job. If she does not want to accept what is expected of her, she should contemplate moving on to another position elsewhere or face being terminated if she continues. But it may be too late to show her that the problem is her behavior, not her performance, since she's probably already fixated and assigned her unhappiness to the workload. To refocus her, present her job description and any other historical documentation that shows the demands placed upon her have not changed (unless they have. There should be counseling and rewards...). Also, if she is doing the same job as others in the organization, document and show her a comparison then ask her to explain why she is "special". If there are not similar jobs in the office, expand to the company or industry. Find out why she thinks she is being overworked. Is her performance slipping? Does she have poor time management skills? Is she competent? If not, perhaps what she really wants is training opportunities or validation that there may be career progression with what she does. Is she in a dead end job? If so, tell her! She's whining. Find out why. Can her morale be improved? Should it be improved? If she truly is just a negative nelly, she should be told her job is in jeopardy as she is hurting the company. If her attitude is a misplaced perception about something the company is doing or not doing, you as her supervisor should help her identify the problem and then fix it. This can be fixed with counseling. Unless her behavior has a direct negative impact on the office's overall performance, it should not be a factor in the evaluation. If you demand that it be added, it should be presented as a minor issue that will be researched and resolved as an employee-supervisor effort. AEAP on 3/6/2008 6:16:13 AM
Just take the approach that you are letting her know that this has been brought to your attention and that if she is truly struggling with her workload that she needs to bring that up to her boss. Then I would make a notation that it was discussed. Good luck! AEAP on 3/6/2008 6:15:37 AM
This is a common theme in most offices. Everyone feels over-worked and under-appreciated. Just as you say, though, it's tough to listen to the continuous complaints. I would recommend that you ask this employee to please come to the meeting with a written outline of her current workload and some recommendations for streamlining her job. Then you can discuss the top two or three complaints and possible solutions that he/she has come up with. Tell the employee that you appreciate their efforts and will look over her current duties and see if there's anything you can do to help streamline her processes. This will give you an "out" to objectively look at the list without having to hear every detail from the employee. Plus the employee will still feel that he/she is being heard. I hope this helps. AEAP on 3/6/2008 6:15:05 AM
Rather than just telling her no one wants to hear that she's overworked, you might want to take a look at her workload to see if there is any justification to her complaining. Ask her to jot down how much time she is spending on each task and review it with her each week. You might either be surprised to find what she has on her plate or she might be surprised at how much time she might actually be wasting throughout the day. I would also suggest enrolling her in some managing priorities course and share some of the wonderful articles that are written in the Executary publication with her. Good luck! AEAP on 3/6/2008 6:14:10 AM
Serena, some people are just chronic complainers, but then again some people have valid complaints and do not know how to express this to their supervisors for fear of looking unqualified to handle their responsibilities. Unfortunately, their team members suffer for this and are waiting for you, as their supervisor, to do something about the situation. Ask yourself these questions: How long has she been complaining about her workload? Did adding new responsibilities start the complaining? Does she only complain to her co-workers? Did she have this same problem last year at review time? Was it addressed then? Has it been addressed at all during the year? If this matter has never been addressed prior to her performance evaluation, you may wish to bring it up during the review, however, state in the review that you will meet with her for a coaching session(s) on time management and prioritizing to assist her with managing her workload in an efficient manner. Explain to her (in the coaching session) that she should bring valid complaints to you, not her co-workers, with at least 3 possible solutions. This enables her to be proactive instead of reactive and assists you in providing solutions to real problems instead of listening to other workers “complain about the complainer”. Set a goal to meet with her until you feel she has picked up the ball and is running with it. Looking at this as a challenge instead of a problem may be your best solution. Good luck with this Serena. Holly Hallett on 3/4/2008 6:08:23 AM
Serena, I agree with Faye and Anonymous respondents. Look at her work history and all of the contributions she's made through out her time with the firm. Find out if she is saying that her contemporaries are not pulling their fair share of the workload. There may be some validity to her claims. If on the other hand she is the employee that always complains no matter what, then maybe it is time to talk turkey about positive mind-sets and draw some illustrations of how important it is for her to continue to do her work without the verbal distractions. Stay strong and lead by example. Wanda Scott Wandalou on 3/4/2008 5:19:37 AM
Serena, Maybe you should do the opposite, write down all that she has learned and contributed to the job. Let her know that even though her workload is heavy all the knowledge and skills she has learned will equipt her for other opportunties later in life. Bring with you a copy of her position description and if it says "other related duties" than she has no room for complaint and that continuing to complain about her workload will only make her life more difficult and unhappy. Inform her that our work is a reflection of who we are and how we carry ourselves. As for yourself, don't get discouraged but stay strong and hold your ground as good supervisor. Good luck! Faye Lattimore on 3/4/2008 4:51:52 AM
For whatever reason, this employee's perception is that her workload is too great. I agree wholeheartedly with the previous postings that some serious research needs to be done, especially before committing comments in a document as far reaching as an evaluation. The problem may indeed be time management and prioritization, or distribution of tasks throughout the entire department. Another factor may be that, at least in the view of this employee, others in the department are not doing their share, or she is doing some of their tasks and not receiving credit for her efforts. Also, as you seem to be aware of the constant complaining, waiting until review time to address this seems unfair, in that your have not addressed the concern and they have not be given time or training to correct behavior/learn new skills. Anonymous on 3/3/2008 1:38:27 PM
Remember that it is HER responsibilities to explain and prove why she feels her workload is too much. First of all, you don't address this - she needs to bring this up. Then ask why she feels that way. If she can't explain it it's bogus. Wait until she can specifically describe why she can't handle her workload. Before comitting to anything at all, ask her to make a list of ALL the tasks she performs: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. and put all these tasks into three categories: A, B, and C. That gives you the opportunity to determine if maybe there are things she does that she shouldn't be doing in the first place, whether she prioritizes her work the way you need her to, etc. Once this review is done, you can determine if her job description needs to be changed or if she needs a refresher course in time management. Angeliki De Morgan on 3/3/2008 1:35:57 PM
I agree with the responses from the other members. I would approach the situation as a valid complaint - she is overloaded. But the proof is in her court. Get her input on what her workload is like. Have her enumerate the tasks and time spent completing these. This will accomplish two things - both having to do with validation from her: 1) is there an overload and if there isn't substantial evidence of that, 2) she will prove to herself that she does not have a valid complaint. If the latter, then you can approach the issue from the standpoint of a chronic complainer. Assure her that you are on her side and that you would welcome any input on workload issues. Encourage her to discuss these with you at your regular one-on-one meetings. In other words, provide her with a channel for valid complaints - not the sharing of these with others in the office, which can cause morale issues, etc., etc. Hope this helps! Enid on 3/3/2008 1:26:33 PM
I would address it with her by saying... "Others in the office have brought it to my attention that your workload is too big." So, before we sit down to do your review, please list your job responsibilities and the approximate time that you spend daily, weekly, monthly, completing these tasks. Then, when you sit down with her, you have everything in front of you and can see if anything needs to change. I have found that once they are put to the test of showing time spent, that it usually isn't an issue anymore. However, if it is an issue, I want to make sure that I'm doing whatever I can to help alleviate the situation. Good luck!! Kathy Winters on 3/3/2008 12:04:46 PM
If she is constantly complaining about her workload, recommend discussing it well ahead of a performance evaluation. Get the facts from her first, find out if her complaints warrant further research and fact finding. Can her complaints be substantiated? Is she complaining to be complaining ? What is making her complain? Is she unhappy, irritable, not content? Find out what her issues are. Work with her so that she presents solutions to resolve her issues that are agreeable to her and your organization. If she is unwilling to resolve her issues and put her issues behind her, this could be construed as being unwilling to comply with developing a harmonious working environment. I know this is a pain, but documentation is important. As the old saying goes... document, document, document. Develop a plan to resolve her complaints. Document your actions with her. If things do not improve, then maybe its time for her to look for opportunities where she will be more content. Yes, its a process, and its not necessarily a pleasant one, however, for your peace of mind, and for your organization, this may be the best way to proceed. There is a book titled "Difficult Conversations"... maybe your local library, college, or university might have a copy of it. Do some research on the internet on how to deal with difficult employees. Good luck, hope all goes well for you. Rene' Arnold Wrenae on 3/3/2008 12:04:40 PM
Before you write this individual off has a "complainer", you must do your homework to find out if her complaints are valid. Perhaps the workload is, in fact, unrealistic and more than one person can handle. If you can see clearly that she is working hard, I would certainly review his/her workload situation. If on the other hand, the employee is taking to many personal breaks, personal phone calls, internet use, etc., and for those reasons, can't get her work done, you must address the situation. One other reason, and a common one, is that the individual has difficulty organizing her daily activities. It is always good to have a "To Do" list to help stay focused. The performance eval is easy when you know the answers to the questions above. Anonymous on 3/3/2008 11:55:58 AM
Why is she constantly complaining about her workload? Does she have a legitimate complaint? Has this been discussed previously? Before you include this in her review, consider these points. Maybe she needs some training in how to organize better and/or how to work more efficiently. Instead of just sitting her down and telling her no one wants to hear her compliants, discuss with her how and to whom to properly address her concerns about her workload. Use this as a training opportunity to help her do a better job. If she's not interested in receiving additional training that may help her handle her workload, then it's time to address the fact that she feels her workload is too much, but doesn't want help in handling it better. Or, maybe her workload is too much and she has a real issue. Please try to take as positive a tack as possible. She'll react more positively, and you'll feel better about the whole thing. Cheryl Stavis on 3/3/2008 11:55:15 AM
First Off.....Find out if workload is a true problem or if it is a problem with prioritizing. If it is truly a workload issue, you may have to take steps to correct. If it is a time management issue on the employee's part, you may have to both come up with a solution. You need to let the employee know that you are willing to help but only if she comes to you versus complaining to others without seeking a solution. Constant complaining only hurts morale of others, and does not help find a solution to the issue. Employee needs to know that this DOES effect evaluations not just at your company but at most. Good Luck! Christine Adams on 3/3/2008 11:50:32 AM
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