Disappointment in Employees:
“I just can’t count on you to show up and put in the work.”

"Gentleman's Sport" by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

So what I really meant was…

“I need someone who shows up every day for the time scheduled and completes the assigned tasks. Unfortunately, in this business I can’t afford to be more flexible. Is there a reason you weren’t able to come on time and finish the work assigned?”

“Let me know if you will be able to commit to the following hours….”


“Would you be happier in the type of business that can be more flexible?”

It’s important to ask why the employee is showing certain objectionable behavior. Many factors can cause undesirable behavior, for example, the following possibilities:

1. Problems outside of work
2. Not getting a promotion the employee thought he or she deserved
3. Unclear communication
4. Feeling overlooked on an earlier project
5. Low motivation or capability
6. Not having the right traits for the job

Once you know the reason behind the behavior, you’ll understand better what your next step should be.

If you talk about your business’s needs rather than the employee’s failings, it’s easier for the employee to hear you, as well as for you to find out what lies beneath the undesirable behavior, and even to fire him or her if necessary without hard feelings.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “That’s wrong. I totally disagree.”

Read “Overgeneralization: ‘You never show appreciation.’”

Read “Giving Advice: ‘She never listens to me.’”

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