I'm trying to determine how to give feedback to a direct - so she will take more ownership of her work instead of it being passed to me when she can't something done due to time given that she comes in at 8:30 AM or later, is always gone by 4 PM (due to family obligations), and works from home on Fridays. I'm a new manager but long-time Manager Tools listener (6 or 7 years). I work in a pharmaceutical company. The direct came under me because she and her previous manager had major conflicts match; previous manager has been moved to another department in another state, and my direct was given written warning with my boss telling me if she can't work, she needs to go. She neither has a PhD nor science degree. Her level is a lower title in the organization.Her previous manager complained she was never at work, and never getting things done.
She works 8:30 to 4 PM sharp, due to her special needs child, and works from home on Friday and days when family issues come up. My boss was frustrated that her previous manager never knew what she was working on, and the direct felt uncomfortable even talking to that previous manager (I didn't feel comfortable with that manager either). My boss wanted me to offer coaching support to her since I'm really good at mentoring, and referring people to books having been interested in communication for so long.
I have two one on ones with her per week so that I'm pretty up to speed on her three projects. Her biggest complaint is people see her in a lower "status" than she is, and she thinks it is because of her title. I'm trying to help her communicate in ways to "up" her status, especially because I see why. I have listened to the Personal Crisis podcasts, but not the Inheiriting a Poor Performer. Personal crisis because her dad had some medical problems last week so she took Mon - Wed off, and work from home Thur afternoon and all day Friday. This week she's on vacation because my boss is big on using up all our vacation before December in case we are needed during the holidays, with critical things on her project due next week.
Here are some things that happen that concern me but I don't know how to give feedback since it relates to her not having time, but they are fairly critical things for the team. - two project team meetings this week that she'd normally present at. She sent me her slide deck for both of them, 3 slides each. One of them I got to and said was OK so she sent on to the project manager. The other, was sent to me at 3:51 PM on Friday, 9 minutes before she went home and I never got to it. So she never sent to the project manager, who is asking me on Monday where it is. I wish she had just sent it off, I mean, it was only 3 slides, and she knew she wasn't going to be here this week. On the other hand, her writing skills are not the best either, but in this case, the document was fine as it was largely similar to the other deck. - similarly, she said she was going to set up a meeting for week of Oct 27, but didn't set anything up before she left; we were waiting for someone to give us a list of names, but in the end, I'm doing it, plus my projects which are more complex than hers. - my boss had asked her to prepare a cover letter and this list of questions before she left, but that wasn't done, and some of that is falling to me.
The negative impact on me is I'm having to do her work when she's out, particularly because one of her projects is very visible now. People call me, instead of her, which is a testament to me, but I want the focus on her. Similarly, my boss stays out of my projects, but he's pretty involved with hers, granted, it involves other companies and one is quite visible. Even when she's here, I spend a lot of time on her work because her writing skills are not the best, and I need to read through anything before it goes to my boss or the team, though as I said, I wish she would have sent that one slide deck to the project manager. I wish her work didn't need so much proofreading.
So how do I give feedback on some of these things, when some of it has to do with having her constrained work hours, and some of it being she doesn't have a science background so she can't pick it up as fast. She has hinted that she should be promoted to the next level because she is managing a project, but she's not as I and my boss have to get so involved. I have recommended a few good career books for her, even giving her one, but she doesn't have time to read them. So how do you give feedback? For those of you that have followed me over the years, this new job (1 year now) has been really great. Workload is high, but it's all good experience. My boss said he feels it is one of the best matches he's seen in his career.