Too often, employers get involved in managing employees’ personal lives rather than focusing on the work they are paying an employee to accomplish. I refocus an employer to manage the work, not the behavior, when they call and tell me they’re upset because an employee isn’t putting in the hours they think they should, isn’t available while working remotely, or is off too much for personal reasons. Managing work is easy. Managing behavior is incredibly difficult. So, why take the difficult route?
Nearly every time an employer calls me with behavior problems, there is an underlying work issue that should be addressed. So the next time you’re tempted to address the way an is “behaving” by taking away their remote working option, or eliminating their flexible working schedule, think twice. Maybe there’s a better way to address the issue. Is the fact they never get their report turned in on Friday what really drives you nuts? Or the fact the work they do is always sub-par and needs to be repeated. It may feel like the issue is that the employee is working remotely, or on a flexible work schedule, but in reality, taking away the remote option likely will only turn a poor performer into a disgruntled poor performer. Deal with the poor performance head on and let the employee decide if they can still be a remote worker. Sometimes when confronted with not performing well employees realize they need to change behavior on their own. Regardless, you’re managing their work and if they don’t improve you’ll let them go and find someone else. Remember, managing behavior is hard because it’s subjective. Managing work is the way to go to b fair and consistent for both you and the employee.
I get calls from clients frustrated that their employees are missing work due to illness and want a doctor’s note verifying the