I’m 27, this is the longest I’ve been with a company, and also the first time any of my employers has ever dedicated time, responsibility and trust in me despite my lack of experience... and it paid off for both of us. I was promoted to manager last year after a little under 3 yrs with the small business (non retail customer service), and admittedly I’m an absolute GREEN HORN in management. But my longest running challenge as a manager is this one direct in our very small staff—
There is a young woman (only a few years younger than me) who got hired a few months after I did, she was definitely hired as a favor. There’s a somewhat social relationship between my boss and her parents, and if it didn’t exist she definitely would have been fired by now. She’s a good natured person, but she’s a disaster of a person who can’t seem to ever maintain her performance longer than a month, has clearly never stood up solely on her own two feet, and after 3 1/2 years she is still consistently making excuses and rookie mistakes.
To ice the cake: there is this un documented understanding from her parents to my boss, and then to me, that she has medical issues we have to take into account. (We have absolutely no paperwork regarding this... it gives me nightmares.)
I understand my boss is in a awkward spot with this direct, I really do, but now I’ve inherited responsibility for her performance. Early on in the business this direct could make casual “requests” for considerations and accommodations for her (again, UNDOCUMENTED) medical condition, and my boss would comply. She is clearly used to being able to make excuses for herself and have them accepted.
I do not believe we keep should keep a staff member who consistently does not perform, could be a liability someday, and would take a lot of time and energy to coach up to even minimal performance standards. We are at a pivotal point when both my boss and myself need to be focusing our energy elsewhere in the company. I will admit that she has improved during her time here, and I wouldn’t be where I am now if my boss hadn’t been lenient and considerate of me and my own shortcomings from time to time over the past 3 yrs... but it took those same 3 yrs and lots of hand holding and making special exceptions for this direct just to get good at the most basic manual labor. What will it cost us in time and energy to get her to a consistently capable level of performance?
I have no idea how to manage this direct, both her social connections and her lack of capability haunt my interactions with her. It could be a great learning experience for all... but I dont even know where to start.