North Platte, NE
I have a young employee that makes fun of a coworker she doesn't
like, behind her back, for occasional bladder leakage problems.
The older employee has four kids
and the younger has none. I've confronted her and explained this
is not an uncommon medical condition, and that I don't
appreciate her acting like a child.
She tries to hide
it from me now but I still see her giggling about it with
What should I do?
in Ardmore, OK
Explain to all of
your employees that they don't have to like all of their
coworkers, but they have to treat everyone with respect. And
that if they can't do that, they won't be working with your
Thanks for your question
Glenn in Nashville, TN
= = = = = = = = = = = = =
the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may
remain anonymous if your prefer.
An optometrist who
attended my seminar at Radford University in Virginia had three
employees, all women. She worked in what she called a “Hormone
One of her employees was the troubled
child who did everything wrong. The two good employees
constantly complained that the optometrist let the problem
employee get away too much.
One day the optometrist
caught her problem employee committing a flagrant HIPAA
violation so egregious that it could have caused her to lose her
license, and fired her immediately.
assumed her other two employees would thank her for finally
getting rid of their toxic coworker, who they called “The Wicked
Witch of the Office”.
She could not have been more wrong.
Instead, they came marching in with their arms crossed and
said “How could you do that to her? She’s a single mom
struggling to support two kids, and she needs this job. Hire her
The optometrist explained that it was her
practice, and it was not a democracy. But her remaining two
employees didn’t back down. They dug in their heels and issued
"If you don’t hire her back, we both
The situation had quickly spiraled out of control
and turned into a mutiny.
Now put yourself in the
optometrist’s shoes. You began your day with three employees. By
8:30, you’re down to two, and you’re facing the very real
possibility of having no one left by lunchtime if you don’t hire
back the problem employee.
What would YOU do?
There’s actually no decision for you to make,
because it's already been made for you. If you made the mistake
of hiring back the problem employee, your employees would be in
control of your business and you would be powerless.
Employees who give ultimatums like that are terrorists.
Terrorists are people who use the threat of harming you to get
what they want. Most countries have a firm policy on negotiating
with terrorists which is, “We don’t.”
This must be your
policy when employees try to force you to do what they want.
The optometrist, who admitted to being a softie in the past,
pointed out the door to her employees and told them they’d be
missed. They backed off and sheepishly quipped “We were just
Managers hope it never comes to this, but
sometimes it does. The owner of a window washing company who
attended my seminar in Waco, Texas, lost all six of his
employees the same day. A hotel maintenance manager who attended in Omaha,
Nebraska, lost all eight of his employees his second week on the
They both suffered short term. But once they
re-staffed, they both reaped the benefits of new staff that
respected their authority.
To Your Success,
A more common example of employee
ultimatums is the employee who threatens to quit if they don’t
get a raise. Even if they’ve worked hard to earn it, giving
ultimatums is not the way to get a raise.
Click here to
comment on this issue: