my poisonous former worker is poisoning my employees — Ask a Supervisor


A reader writes:

For the final 10 years, I’ve been the pinnacle of a community-based group. My assistant director, together with at the very least a 3rd of the workers, pre-dated my employment there. “Bob” didn’t appear to need my job himself, however the head of operations warned me about him, saying he was was a snake with loyalties solely to the long-time workers who labored below him.

Positive sufficient, from the beginning, he made it clear he didn’t suppose I used to be as much as the job. We ultimately got here to have what I believed was a purposeful working relationship, however it was nonetheless strained. I attempted to search out out why by gently questioning, however he by no means fessed up. It was only a basic angle of faintly bitter disapproval, which was unusual as a result of this system improved and expanded below my management. Finally, to my aid, he determined to fully retire.

What I didn’t know was that he was undermining me at each flip, and behind my again would brazenly sneer at me in entrance of different workers. I believe that a part of it was that my fashion was to construct consensus and focus on issues, which he interpreted as insecurity, when actually I valued his and different worker’s suggestions.

After I changed him with a gifted worker who did a fantastic job, I noticed how entrenched his work had been; he had been working an increasing program as if it was nonetheless small. I’ve been very pleased with the way in which issues are working since his departure.

However Bob has been assembly with a few of my workers and attempting to fire up hassle outdoors the workplace. Once I needed to decide to vary some methods, my long-time workers acquired very upset. There have been no cuts, however employees needed to change their conventional approach of doing their jobs for a time frame, which led to a lot dissatisfaction. They met with Bob outdoors work, and he stirred them up. He nonetheless calls his pals from the workplace and pumps them for gossip about me, which they then unfold round to others on employees. It’s a really bizarre dynamic. It positively undermines my work.

The issues Bob is doing — encouraging gossip, backbiting, and basic negativity, which I hear from just a few employees members who’re nonetheless in contact with him — are downgrading my repute within the eyes of the employees who labored with him through the years, though he has left. It’s nearly as if he’s on a private vendetta. What can I do?

I reply this query over at Inc. right now, the place I’m revisiting letters which have been buried within the archives right here from years in the past (and generally updating/increasing my solutions to them). You can learn it right here.

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