Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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my new employee refused to help a coworker — Ask a Manager

my new employee refused to help a coworker

TODAY I HAD MY FIRST 1:1 WITH A NEW EMPLOYEE. AT THE TIME HE WAS HIRED, WE WERE FILLING TWO ROLES, ONE MID-LEVEL AND ONE ENTRY-LEVEL, AND THEY BOTH STARTED LAST WEEK. HE DID NOT INTERVIEW WELL ENOUGH FOR THE MID-LEVEL POSITION, BUT WE OFFERED HIM THE ENTRY-LEVEL ROLE AND HE ACCEPTED. HOWEVER, TODAY IT WAS CLEAR THAT HE IS UPSET ABOUT BEING AT A LOWER LEVEL THAN THE REST OF THE TEAM AND INDICATED THAT HE WOULD NOT HELP THE OTHER NEW EMPLOYEE SINCE THEY WERE AT A HIGHER LEVEL THAN HIM. I HAD THEM DOING INITIAL TRAINING TOGETHER, AS THE TECHNICAL SKILLS ARE THE SAME, BUT THE HIGHER LEVEL CANDIDATE HAS SOFT SKILLS THAT THIS DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE LACKS. TODAY HE ASKED HOW SOON HE COULD BE PROMOTED, AND WHEN HE COULD SHADOW A TEAM WHOSE WORK IS WELL OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF THE ROLE FOR WHICH HE WAS HIRED.

IS IT REASONABLE THAT I’M A LITTLE MIFFED? I WANT TO SUPPORT HIS PROFESSIONAL GROWTH, BUT WHEN I SAID IT WASN’T POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO JOIN THEM WITHIN A YEAR (THERE’S A ONE-YEAR MARK FOR PROMOTION CONSIDERATIONS), HE WAS SHOCKED. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO RESET HIS EXPECTATIONS? AM I CRAZY TO EXPECT HIM TO WORK ON THE TEAM THAT HIRED HIM?

I answer this question — and three others — over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

Other questions I’m answering there today include:

Student employees are using me for therapy
Employee comes in on his days off to use a computer
“Is this employee eligible for re-hire?”

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