Comstock's magazine 0119 - January 2019 - Page 24

n EVIL HR LADY DILEMMA OF THE MONTH coaching an inexperienced manager by Suzanne Lucas ILLUSTRATION: JOHN CHASE I A 24 | January 201 9 'm in my 50s and the HR manager for a startup — about 80 people and the average employee is under 30. I'm dealing with a 20-something problem employee. She's dramatic, often disrupting work with her grievances: an ant problem (confined to the cup on her desk); the disappearance of a shopping bag from under her desk. She asked for a raise, then denied receiving the feedback I offered on how she could earn one. Despite my recommendation, her manager (also young) won’t put her on a performance improvement plan over concerns it will reinforce the idea we have a toxic environment. What can I do? YOU’RE THE HR MANAGER, YOU CAN’T really make the manager put their em- ployee on a performance improvement plan — even though they should do just that. What you can do is coach the man- ager, who should be handling all of this. Managing people is hard! And being a new manager with a bunch of other new managers around, all of whom are trying to lead people who are new to professional life is stressful just to think about. It’s clear that this employee sees