Difficult New Employee

  1. 0
    I have a new employee, new grad actually, that is causing quite a stir around our small department. Shows loads of initiative, but also very cocky. Several staff, and recently even patients have made comments to the new employees attitude.

    I feel like its something I would like to confront, as I want him to be successful here - but I'm lost for a words in starting/keeping a professional positive tone to the conversation. Is this something you would approach or let it work out over time on its own?

    Any advice?
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I'm going to guess that this new grad is hiding his insecurity behind a mask of bravado.

    I'm not a manager, but I'd give this advice; document specific incidents where his tone/behavior was less than professional, and then meet with him and show him the notes. If your hospital has a policy about professional behavior, pull that out and discuss it with him.

    Good luck,
    girlpolice
    lostNneuro likes this.
  4. 2
    Quote from lostNneuro
    I have a new employee, new grad actually, that is causing quite a stir around our small department. Shows loads of initiative, but also very cocky. Several staff, and recently even patients have made comments to the new employees attitude.

    I feel like its something I would like to confront, as I want him to be successful here - but I'm lost for a words in starting/keeping a professional positive tone to the conversation. Is this something you would approach or let it work out over time on its own?

    Any advice?
    Your initial instinct is right. You need to nip it in the behind. I agree ti is over compensation for feeling overwhelmed. I would start the conversation just like you did.....I want you to be successful here. We appreciate your confidence but your demeanor is over bearing at times. We appreciate your enthusiasm and vigor but it can be over whelming to the casual observer.

    Give examples of the extreme behavior and concrete examples of the desired behavior. Set up a system of silent notification when he becomes overbearing so that he knows when to curb his enthusiasm. Appreciate his newness (if that is a word) and support his achievements....let him know the good things. Give concrete examples of how to "fit in" but give him time.....it is probably an inherent personality trait that he needs to learn how to modulate.

    I had new nurses like that that just have a hard time modulating their filters. Good positive feed back and give very specific examples on how to handle a situation.

    I remember one very bright....brilliant actually.....nurse. I remember she was caring for a patient that had drank antifreeze getting dialysis. As the patient put it he only had "a cap full here and a cap full there" when she advised that RIPPLE was cheaper.....I spit my coffee out my nose and reminded her later that we don't advise patients how to behave badly at a lower budget. It took a long time to help her develop her filter......but she really had no clue what she was doing wrong. Good loving limits and lessons on communication went a long way. I told her we had to turn her into an Emmy wining actress with a good therapeutic response.

    I have noticed that some males can be more challenging as they have an evolutionary need to dominate. The whole Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". I have a daughter and a son 11 months apart. My daughter came out loving pink and loving babies....... he came out playing soldiers, slamming them and blowing them up. Nurture their Nature. Taylor your plan to modulate his responses and give him other responsibilities that he feels he can dominate.

    I have always supported individuality in the staff and played to their strengths. I also would engage the "key players" on the individual shifts on the plan and let the "offender" aware they are the resource people to help them learn "the ropes"

    Good Luck!
    DeLana_RN and lostNneuro like this.
  5. 2
    Esme,
    You are the best. Really. I would work for you in a New York minute, seriously...
    lostNneuro and Esme12 like this.
  6. 2
    Thanks........

    But I'm not the kind of manager/director facilities want any more.....I'm not a very good YES man.....
  7. 1
    It's obvious that you feel that this is a problem NOW and therefore should be one that needs to be addresed NOW also. It's affecting your other staff and more importantly, also some patients; therefore it reflects back on your managerial responsibilities to handle it now.

    As other posters note, have specific examples of the negative episodes and how it could have been positive. My suggestion on how to keep your approach professional and positvely focused is for you to work from your prepared 'script'. Whenever I had to write-up or counsel staff, I had the required HR documentation, but I also had my 'script', like 'cheat notes' or lesson plan. My script kept me very focused with all the points that I needed to cover so I wouldn't be wasting time or missing something important.

    I would also be able to summarily document/outline on the HR paperwork what was covered during our discussion for any remedial actions or plan of corrrection. Like you, I felt awkward at times having to counsel staff, so this turned out to be my way to approach the situation.

    I use my prepared scripted approach for most everything when I need to. It works for me before, during and after interactions. Hope it helps you.
    lostNneuro likes this.
  8. 0
    Thanks everyone! I swear Esme12 if I could print out your post and read straight from it I would! hehe.

    I did write a "script" as suggested if nothing else for myself. Our dicussion went well, but I didn't have specific examples like I should have. I do have a feeling I'll get lots of practice, and this will not be our last conversation.

    I am going watch for specific examples to help drive home the point if/when needed.

    Thanks again for the guidance - everything I was coming up with on my own seemed to miss that important professional tone!
  9. 0
    Quote from lostNneuro
    Thanks everyone! I swear Esme12 if I could print out your post and read straight from it I would! hehe.

    I did write a "script" as suggested if nothing else for myself. Our dicussion went well, but I didn't have specific examples like I should have. I do have a feeling I'll get lots of practice, and this will not be our last conversation.

    I am going watch for specific examples to help drive home the point if/when needed.

    Thanks again for the guidance - everything I was coming up with on my own seemed to miss that important professional tone!
    NO......I'm afraid that you will be having many more conversations...you two will become good friends.... If it works you will have a devoted employee!

    You go right ahead cut and paste to a word document....print it and post it near you. Ever need any help...post or PM me. I'll be happy to help!
  10. 1
    Trusting that a problem will resolve on its own seldom works. Immediate problems need to be addressed immediately. Glad to read that you came to the same conclusion.

    Presentation is very important when addressing a situation like this. Point out the things this employee does well, and then point out the areas that need improvement.

    I once worked for a nurse manager who used what I call the "velvet hammer". She had a way of chewing employees out and have them leaving the office cheerful and wanting to improve. She could correct people without breaking them down or tearing them apart. I try - sometimes in vain - to emulate her approach.
    Altra likes this.


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