How to line manage someone who is ALWAYS miserable?

(5 Posts)
Coppersnake Sun 06-Oct-19 10:29:00

I line manage a team of 17, and it's generally pretty harmonious. However, I have one member of staff who is causing me so many headaches due to his grinding, unrelenting pessimistic world (work?) view.

Everything is unreasonable to him. As in, the very basics of our job (teaching); he is constantly moaning that it is far too much work to plan lessons and mark books (we demand no physical lesson plans and the marking policy is one piece of work every two weeks per class - he has 4 classes - and this is done verbally so only takes an hour). Anything 'on top' of the basics (but still our job, such as departmental meetings) is an outrageous imposition.

He walks around with a face like thunder and pours cold water on any hint of enthusiasm or enjoyment anyone else might be finding in our job. He disparages the school constantly.

He's an absolute drain on the team generally and me specifically. I spend so much time listening to his moans and gripes, none of which I have any control over and even if I did I don't think they're remotely reasonable. Any suggestions for managing things differently etc are poo-pooed. He's also ignored my request for him to make a record of his tasks and time spent on them so we can review it together.

I've tried being sympathetic, offering practical suggestions, you name it - nothing is good enough and he's still a misery.

I'm at the end of my tether with it, and I really don't want him bringing down other members of the team, some of whom are brand new and inexperienced and absolutely don't need to hear that this job is a pile of crap in what is always a tough year for them.

I am in my 40s and an experienced manager, so I don't think it's mismanagement on my part. I have spoken with my line manager and she sees the problems but offers no solution really. He's just 'difficult', and has caused the same issues for previous managers.

Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
Rotanicani Sun 06-Oct-19 10:35:06

I think teaching has a fair few of this types. I’ve been SLT/ managed a few schools.

I think you need to take a huge emotional step back. Accept he will moan. Don’t attempt to fix. Manage his access to you, don’t have an open door for moans. Turn back moans to him, eg suggest support plans etc if he has repeated issue. Ask for comments in email form. Direct using the broken record technique to places for support such as websites

Mums1234 Sun 06-Oct-19 11:36:46

perhaps he has burned out? Teaching is a demanding career.

LadyGAgain Sun 06-Oct-19 16:12:25

What are your performance management rules? Is he meeting every deadline? Are pupils advancing in the way you would expect?

Stevienickssleeves Sun 06-Oct-19 16:24:58

In my line of work i would be 1. Feeding back 2.
If no improvement, putting a personal improvement plan in place with measurable and time bound goals (no instances of complaining in meetings or to colleagues for 6 months) and 3. if no improvement after this, exiting the employee.

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