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Work dilemma needy staff member

(11 Posts)
Mitsouko67 Fri 07-Aug-20 23:10:14

I've tried everything. He's needy. We sit beside each other and are a team of two. He reports to me. When we were in the office it was OK. We met fortnightly and I held off on most queries till then. I WFH anyway one day a week and he used to email questions constantly and disregard clear instructions!
Either he wanted to check I was working (I was) or wanted to show he was (I knew he was).

He was deployed elsewhere but he's back in October.

I know it sounds silly and unreasonable but WFH works well for me, I'll be really busy and I'm dreading these annoying and pointless interuptions during my working day. I just don't need this.

Help!

OP’s posts: |
MySweatyPie Sat 08-Aug-20 08:54:10

You are his boss, of course you should be there to support and answer any questions. It sounds like you want an easier life more than caring to develop and support him.

rookiemere Sat 08-Aug-20 08:57:26

Would it be worth scheduling in daily 15 minute catch ups ? That way he has a chance to air questions etc with you, but it's time boxed and if he comes up with something non urgent during the day, you can point him in the direction of the daily catch up.

sluj Sat 08-Aug-20 09:03:41

Only meeting once a fortnight and holding off queries till that meeting sounds like its not working for him. Would that work for anyone? You are giving an "unavailable " vibe which is poor from a line manager. He has probably heaved a sigh of relief when you are wfh as he can ask for help when he needs it. You could compromise with a short daily catch up as suggested already but you do need to make yourself available.
I know he may be annoying in lots of ways but supporting and managing him is what you are paid for. Managers are human but you have to hide your feelings smile

SwanneeKazoo Sat 08-Aug-20 09:11:40

What are his questions about? If he is not clear how to do a task that is on you to provide appropriate training and to ensure he understands it. Do you have proper process notes to explain each area of his work? Does he take notes when you are explaining something to him? If he is competent but just nervous, you need to build up his confidence. If he phones up with a question that you know he already has the answer to, instead of telling him what to do, maybe ask him to talk through what he thinks he should do? Is there a culture in your workplace where people are afraid to make mistakes?

I think meeting with him once a fortnight isn't enough and second the daily catch-up/briefing sessions. If you keep records of these where it can be shown that you have clearly explained what/how a task needs to be done and he has said he understood, then eventually it might be a capability issue.

Doyoumind Sat 08-Aug-20 09:15:14

I think you need a daily catch up too. It will give him time to ask his questions and then you can both get on with your days.

beaker25 Sat 08-Aug-20 09:18:47

I've been in this position before, got to the stage where it was very much impacting my ability to do my own job and manage the rest of the team. If it's at that sort of stage (rather than an irritant) have you tried being direct, and letting them know the impact on you? I don't think you should necessarily hide your feelings on this if it's impacting you, as long as you raise it kindly and give the person chance to respond and explain what's going on for them.

15 min daily catch ups is potentially a lot, but you could perhaps offer twice weekly.

Also worth thinking about if you have a preference for how you like to be communicated with and specify that. I find chat messages v distracting for example, I prefer email and my team know that.

PapsofJura Sat 08-Aug-20 09:21:01

10 min catch up first thing in the morning and tell them you will only answer emails at set times of the day, sometimes if I have a really big piece of work I put an out of office message advising of this and then turn off my email but I realise that this may not be appropriate for you.

Mitsouko67 Sat 08-Aug-20 21:58:22

Thanks, some good ideas there. He's competent but very anxious and nervousby nature.My own boss responds to my emails at the end of the day. We might speak on the phone or pre covid meet up every few weeks . I think I might do the same with him ie responding to mails at end of day and switching to a weekly Friday catch up as a more relaxed day. Daily catch up just too much.

I think I'm a bit of a loner , good at what I do, but not that suited to managing staff.

It is a capability issue really. I've been building up his confidence for years and exhausting myself in the process!

OP’s posts: |
FartingInTheFence Sun 09-Aug-20 09:58:37

He sounds anything but competent if so needy.

Personally, I'd sack him.

Mitsouko67 Sun 09-Aug-20 21:37:20

It's possible he could be redeployed elsewhere in the organisation. I know he wouldn't mind as that happened before and he was OK with it.
He's approaching retirement.

It's a fast paced job and I need someone who can help me with it. He's quite oblivious to the pressures and in the nicest possible way extremely self absorbed.

OP’s posts: |

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