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Difficult Staff


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HI guys

this is the first time i have posted and this site is fantatstic. I joined a pre-school last september as supervisor and love my job and we have just had a fantastic ofsted which i am really proud of. How ever i have one member of staff who likes to have a moan in everyone's ears about decisions i or the committee make and anything else and it creates an atmosphere. I have had a word with her once yet it is still continuing and as the deputy she should be supporting me. It has got to the stage now that another member of staff has resigned and although she gave another reason i have now been told it is because of this particular person. has anybody got any advice on what i can do/say etc as i am at my wits end.

Thank you all

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Hi Jansav,

Welcome to the site and thanks for making your first post. My initial advice would be to start to write down the details of the difficulty, eg what she said and when. After a couple of weeks, see if a pattern emerges in terms of the kinds of things she moans about, or about the time of day she chooses to express herself in this negative way. It's difficult, but absolutely necessary as you'll need specifics whe you next meet with her. If you bring up the subject of "creating an atmosphere" the first thing she'll say is "When?" or "What did I say?" and you'll need to be really accurate here.

Secondly, I'd look carefully at any documents you have in your setting about staff grievances, disciplinary procedures, etc, so that you follow everything to the letter. If there aren't any, then this gives you a great opportunity to write your own (with our help if you need it :o )

Thirdly, I'd ask for a meeting with her again; make it quite formal and serious, and try to give the impression that you're determined to sort this out once and for all. What did she say last time you talked about it to her?

I'd agree with you about the need for your deputy to support you, and I would emphasise this at the meeting. You could check her job description and rewrite it together to include something along those lines. Of course, there will be times when she disagrees with you, and that's fine when the disagreement is between JUST the two of you, but she must understand that, as manager, your decision on matters is the final one, and once made, you will insist on her supporting you. You could talk about the professional responsibility she has in bridging the gap between the staff and you, and how difficult the job might be at times, and I'd also talk about helping her develop her role and making it her own. What particular strengths and interests does she have? Can she take responsibility for observations and assesssment for example, or an area of the curriculum or setting? She might be acting in this way because she feels she doesn't have any say in anything.

Don't give up :)

Congratulations on your great Ofsted :D

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thanks helen. i agree with all you said. I have praised her no end and given her responsibilities but as we are having staff appraisals it might be perfect time to boost her confidence with more praise for what she is good at. i just don't wnat the situation to worsen or even worse lose someone else because of it all. i think the problem has something to do with the fact that i came into the job from a different setting whereas she has been there for a couple of years. however i will persevere to make our setting a happy place for the children and staff!!!

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Hi Jansav

 

:D welcome, I tottaly agree with what helen says we are currently in a similar situation our member of staff just does not pull her weight (other posts about it on here somwhere)... we took it to committee and they have said give her one final written with a bit in there that she has till easter to sort herself out otherwise contract will be terminated. we have had many meetings with her to discuss work/homw life/problems but to no avail.

 

The moral of the other staff is sinking fast and she has had numerous warnings (3 written) and verbal ones too.

 

I dont want her to leave but with the rest of the team who work so hard cannot put up with it any longer, so final action is taking place.....(horrible business though) :o

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Think she may be jealous that you have the job?did she want it??

This has happened to me where a memeber of staff who di not get the job made life very diffcult and I lost a wonderful member of staff.

Good luck!!

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Unfortunately some people are just very negative all the time and it can be demoralising for everyone. I took Peggy's great advice this New Year and resolved to be more positive and I have to say that so far I have had a very cheerful year. :D I can't give you any better advice than Helen, just wanted to say that it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job and hope this problem can be sorted without too many casualties on the way. :)

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What was this persons attitude before you started as Supervisor? Beau may be right in that she is a natural "moaner", so don't jump too quick to give "possible reasons" for her behaviour. I agree with Helen, treat the behaviour in a professional manner, have an expectation of professionalism and then hopefully this will result in her providing professional behaviour.

 

There needs to be a balance of praise, if we over praise ( to make someone feel less "moany" or to hopefully " make the situation go away" then when we complain about behaviour it may actually come as a shock.."well last week you said I was good at this and this etc". It may be a habit, for her to moan, and she may not be fully aware of the consequences.

 

Peggy

 

p.s. Beau thanks for the mention, glad to hear your having a lovely year. My resolution is working for me too, although god knows what I would feel like if I didn't find something positive each day, as my year, so far, does seem to be very tiring. Still only about 3 months until summer time :D

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Dear Jansav,

 

Here are my thoughts for what they are worth.

 

I think the fact that you mentioned that you and the committee make the decisions and these are what she is moaning about may be one of the areas of conflict that you appear to be experiencing. Perhaps these decisions involve "change" in some way or another. If for instance she or other members of staff are being told to do something which involves change or different working practices they perhaps should be invovled in the change process so that they can take ownership because presumably they will have to work with the new system/change. Just like children - some people find changes to their routines really difficult to deal with.

 

Without knowing what the individual problems are it is difficult to say how it should be handled but I would guess you have looked at the setting, have seen some failings or are wanting to make things even better. This is completely right. Perhaps you could involve all the staff in this process in some way - are the staff able to input into the decision making process, or are they even aware that there is a problem or change needed. It's hard because as someone else says she may have been bypassed for promotion. Low self esteem anxieties abot position and motivation will be an issue here which will need to be dealt with. However, she may as someone else says be a born moaner but why? How much do you know about her work and personal circumstances - is this affecting her work/attitude - can they resolved.

 

She may have a wealth of information and experience at her disposal which may be extremely useful to you and the setting - getting her on your side will be important. As Helen says maybe its important to review her role and maybe developing and reviewing the job description and person specification together might just focus on some of the issues in a non confrontational way. Although I am unsure whether an appraisal at this time might be the right decision as I think there are too many unresolved and unrelated appraisal issues here and I would think really carefull about this as it may well not work in anyones favour. Making her feel valued may affect her motiviation. On the other hand she just may not fit at all! But the only way of finding out will be to communicate with her - you may just find that she wants the same things as you but is not able to express these feelings, much better to have an ally as it will make your life so much easier as you have said. Remember conflict can be constructive, always hard to deal with but I am sure that it will work out one way or another! Usually does - but not without some grief beforehand and it,s always easier to write about it than do it too!!!

 

By raising the query you already half way to resolving it too so good luck - :)

 

 

Nikki

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