What Do You Do When …?
How to Handle Difficult Employee Situations
b y P a u l B i e b e r
part of his job. If you don’t have a writ- slightly glassy? Does he answer ques-
his month’s column is based on ten job description or one that doesn’t tions clearly? Based on the aspects of
a real question from a USGlass mention lunches, meet with Bill and your question, you appear to have a
reader. Please feel free to ask explain the conundrum that has come large company. Do you have a drug/al-
questions, addressed to the editor, up.Ask him to help write a new job de- cohol testing program? Are your man-
Ellen Rogers, at email@example.com, or scription. Having Bill involved in this agers taught how to observe behavior
me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please is critical. (You should have a written that would trigger a drug/alcohol test?
include your name and phone number job description for every employment You should not send an individual for
in case we have questions, or so we can category in your company.)
go into greater depth with you. Please If this doesn’t work as hoped, ask a
testing without a reasonable cause.
Does your employee manual state
note, names are changed in this article. co-worker of Bill’s, who understands that all property is subject to search?
the importance of the question, to have If so, go through his desk after hours.
This Month’s Question
coffee with him and explain this is im- Read his emails.I have found that users
tend to leave unintended clues.
Bill is a young man in our purchas- portant to any company.
ing department who has been with us
Still doesn’t work? At Bill’s next
Invite him to lunch one day, and tell
about a year and doing a very good job. scheduled employee review discuss his him that your car is in the shop and
In fact, we think he has great potential apparent lack of enthusiasm for being a ask him to drive. If he refuses, then he
and his manager, Sam, is grooming team player in his department.Ask him may have something to hide. If he does
him for further growth. As part of that why this has become a problem on his drive, does his car smell of marijuana
mentorship,Sam has invited Bill to join part, and explain that your other em- or alcohol?
him when he takes a customer or ven- ployees look at this as an honor. Don’t
I hope that this second scenario
dor to lunch. The ﬁrst two times Bill harp on the extra hour he has taken. doesn’t play out. If, unfortunately, it
joined them, he later went out to lunch Explain to him your goal of having does, make sure you know your insur-
again by himself. The third-time Bill him grow in your company. Hopefully ance company’s plans for detox. Tell
was invited, Sam told him his presence he will get the idea that this is consid- Bill it’s his only choice now or he will
was part of his lunchtime.At this point, ered part of the job for all employees be terminated.
Bill declined, saying he had to run an who have customer or vendor contact.
Either way, you have a talented
errand. Bill also said that it’s not fair he If he continues to be against this busi- worker and you need to improve his
loses his lunch hour for company pur- ness norm, let him know that this will life at your company. Work with Bill
poses. We haven’t seen this before. Our affect his long-term future with your to improve his team-player role and
younger/newer employees recognize company, including raises and pro- hopefully he will change. n
it as an honor to be included in these motions. How about giving Bill a
types of activities. How do we handle one-day advance notice of a visit-
Bill? Or do we just give up on him?”
ing vendor so that he can plan his
lunch-time errands accordingly?
P a u l B i e b e r has
9 years’ experience in
the glass industry, with
C.R. Laurence and as
executive vice president of
Floral Glass in New York.
This is an interesting problem and Other Concerns
there are two paths to follow. The ﬁrst
Let’s look at the other, more
starts when he was hired.Do you have a unpleasant path. Bill leaves the
written job description of his position’s company each mid-day to have a
duties? This should include mention of drink or two.Worse yet,he is drug
occasional company lunches. If you dependent and gets high during
have this,I would suggest a short meet- the lunch hour.Look at him when
ing with Bill and explain that this is he returns to work. Are his eyes
He is now the principal of
Bieber Consulting Group LLC and can
be reached at email@example.com.
Read his blog on Tuesdays at
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | April 2017