Friday, July 30, 2010

Dealing With A Dick-Head On The Job

Good day peoples,

Whether you’ve got a white collar finance gig or earn a living unloading crates down at the docks, it’s inevitable that you will have to deal with some inept coworker who tends to make your life a living hell. If this dick-head is under your direct supervision, it will fall on you to fix his mistakes and execute the work that he could not complete. This won’t only cost time but money as well. Let the problem persist for too long and your reputation within the organization will be at stake. Obviously, the best move would be to give this clown the axe and find a better replacement. However, if this employee is locked into a binding contract or if he happens to be the boss’ relative, then he is in effect a made man and cannot simply be kicked to the curb.

In the latter scenario, the best solution is to take quick and aggressive measures to whip him into shape. Take on the task as a challenge instead of looking at it as a nuisance, use it as a way to score points with the boss by being the one who molded his pathetic excuse for a sibling into a man. If you succeed, you’ll walk away with a top-notch coworker who owes you a favour and a boss who sees you as a tough and uncompromising manager. However, this transformation won’t happen overnight and no one strategy will work for every DH. 

Assign Them Bitch Work
The idea here is to keep this minion out of your hair with meaningless busy work that even a donkey could handle. This way you fill his plate with tasks he can’t screw up, at the same time boosting his confidence since you’ll no longer be screaming your head off. If this DH were anyone else I would pull rank and make him scrub the toilets or restock the fridge every morning. However since he is a made man within the organization, it is essential to tread lightly. There are many subtle ways to keep him occupied without being too demeaning.
When you rise to middle management or higher, you may no longer have the time to file mountains of paperwork and fill out mind-numbing expense reports. Pass this job off to your personal bitch. Have him take notes in departmental meetings and e-mail group memos later in the afternoon. If your company has a weekly lunch or occasionally celebrates the birthdays of coworkers, delegate this task. Empower him to choose where you eat and what colour balloons to order.

If he’s dumb enough to enjoy these chores more than his former position, leave him be. He might not be adding value to the operation, but at least he’s no longer diminishing your bottom line.

Micro-Manage
If you must assign real work to this incompetent bastard, then make it known that you’re keeping a close eye on him. This is one way to deal with a DH on the job. Nothing irks employees more than having a demanding boss always looking over their shoulder. Stay on his case 24/7 and make sure that every move he makes is approved by you first. He will be motivated to work harder if for no other reason to get you off his back.
At this point, nothing he does in the workplace should be private or sacred. Gain access to his calendar and grill him about the meetings he sets. Ask for status reports to be emailed twice a day and assign the associates you trust to partner with him on projects he can’t finish solo. If more than one person is acting up, schedule constant department-wide meetings throughout the week and put the pressure to perform well on everyone. 

Use the Three Strike Rule
Even as you micro-manage him, this DH  may continue to test you, believing he is invincible because of his relationship to the chief. You need to walk a thin line at this point. Don’t make any brash decisions that will permanently alienate the Boss, but at the same time don’t let this stooge walk all over you. At some point you have to lay down the law, family or not, and even your boss will respect a threat as long as it’s properly managed.
Use your wits and come up with a creative way to put him in his place with a touch of humor that your boss will appreciate. When you're in this position, use the three-strike rule. This may not be appropriate in every workplace, but your crew will respect it. In order for this technique to be effective, you need to have an understanding with your boss.  You know as well as he does that strike three will never come to pass, but your inferiors won’t call your bluff. 

Lead By Example
The strength and performance of an organization starts from the top and works its way down. The way in which a boss conducts business will set the tone for the entire office, and if he cuts corners or slacks off his employees will follow suit. Your minions should see you as a role model not a slouch. Take a look in the mirror before you leave for work. Leading by example begins here by maintaining good hygiene and dressing immaculately every morning. Be the first one to get in to the office and when your schedule allows it, be the last to leave. Follow all company protocols, many of which you may have created, and maintain constant communication with your associates. If you set the bar higher for yourself, this DH will likely come along for the ride.

Get To Work 
Your employees know the ins and outs of your operation. If you see even a hint of potential in them you should try to mold them into a star performer before giving them the axe, which is the best way to deal with a DH on the job. Never burn a bridge if you don’t have to, especially if that bridge turns out to be a made man.

the audacious truth

3 comments:

  1. wow. Im going to take a leap and say you have very flawed opinions on how to get results out of people.

    ReplyDelete
  2. S'truth, if these are the principles you follow, how do you ever achieve success?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, seems to me this is fighting fire with fire - see who can be the biggest dickhead.

    ReplyDelete