We have this employee at our department who is a very good, reliable and efficient worker. She used to work for one arm of our department but recently was switched over to our side. She is known to stay late to make sure quotas, answer her phone when she is off to assist and even come in when she is sick. Even before she came to work for the other arm she was instrumental in curbing the backlog of cases on our side. When the regular mail courier was out she took to the task of delivering the mail to the sub basement and retrieving the mail from the mail room. When the front desk receptionist is out the phones are usually switched to her because its assured that the phones will be answered professionally and calls dealt with correctly. In addition, since restructuring she is the only one who speaks and understands Spanish and can handle Spanish callers. She has twelve years of meritous service recently receiving her ten year certificate two years ago. Lately though we have noticed that she has become disgruntled. We have noticed that she has become very blatant about the fact that she is searching and interviewing for other jobs. When she is handed her tasks for the day she usually receives them with an almost blank stare as if she doesn’t care. In fact today one of the supervisors was telling her the new procedure and she responded with a quiet “Yeah whatever” She is also taking leave and calling in sick more likely we suspect because she’s either going on a job interview or just doesn’t feel like coming in.
We will admit that we are probably not paying her what we should however if we were to give her a raise we would have to give the others in her position within our department one too to prevent them becoming disgruntled although the amount of work they contribute is significantly lower than hers. Also she had applied for a higher position within and was qualified in fact recommended to apply but at the time we were dealing with another backlog which would have gotten worse if we promoted her because we would have to spend time training another person. So in the best interests of the department, we kept her at the same position.
We would like to nip this behavior in the bud before it gets any worse. The team she worked for was dispersed due to her supervisor getting a promotion so she would have been without a job when her position as support staff got phased. The way we see it, she should be thankful that we took her on. Her disgruntled attitude is becoming infectious as she rallies people around her who sympathize with her and goes so far to even to tell her that she is getting a raw deal from us and have suggested that she should go over our heads and file a grievance. In fact she directly encouraged the other support staff member and now that other person is making her discontent known and has started to apply for other jobs. We have recently come out of being several months behind to current so we can not afford to lose both the staff or we will fall right back to where we were. Some advice on how to curb this so it doesnt become a department wide problem.