I run a software development company and have an issue with an employee. I will try to explain my situation as much as possible.
OK so I have now been a boss for a couple of years, but this has stepped up recently with my team growing now to about 5 employees.
I have one employee who has been with us for about 7 months full time. He is a IT programmer and is in charge of that area. I met him through a friend so he did not go through my usually tough interview process - he just kind of fell in to the role.
He is very skilled at what he does - that is when he tries. Sometimes he amazes me with the solutions he provides and ideas he comes up with, however where he lacks is in the other area. Mainly his attitude.
I never had noticed any issues until in the past few months. Some days he is very grumpy at work, and has problems with being told what to do. I have been spoken to inappropriately at times which I took offence to and explained that it is not allowed. I feel he never likes to be wrong and when I tell him he is wrong I can see how frustrated and angry he gets. I feel like I need to be so careful when asking for something to be done, or reminding him about something, because if I say it in the wrong way he takes offence which I know results in bad work. When I do correct him I do it in the nicest way possible, and also use the technique of praising him at the same time which is something I read about.
Recently I had to have a serious chat to him after he went off at me for reminding him to do something he forgot to do. I laid everything out on the table and told him what needs to change. I told him everything I did not like about him. I could see he didn't like this but I told him anyway. I also praised him about his good qualities to try and show that he does do some things right.
Since then I can see he is trying at work to correct his mistakes, but recently I have noticed at times he is not motivated. I do my best to motivate him and get the most out of him, but managing this one employee is harder then managing the rest of my team all put together.
Recently I have found out that when I am out of the office, he has a tendency to do things he should not be doing. I know that sometimes when I am out of the office he does no work at all.
I guess this is what I am worried about. I am generally worried about how to manage him effectively and get the most out of him but finding out he only works well when I am in the office really makes me worried. I feel like if I told him that I knew he doing things he wasnt meant to at work he would get quite upset about it. I try to be the best boss in the world, I am very relaxed at work and allow my employees to be flexible, take the odd personal phone call etc because I feel this shows I trust them and makes for a better environment.
Can anyone offer advice? Does this sound like a problem employee? What should I be doing about him switching off while I am not in the office and can anyone offer advice about how to manage him better?
Thanks for your time.