Staffing Resources


How to See Through Your Employees BullS*%!

February 7th, 2020

Leading people is never easy, especially when you have to determine if someone is telling the truth or giving an excuse. How can you know when someone is staying home because they’re sick or playing hooky? Is your employee too busy to complete the project on time, or are they busy talking to everyone around the office?  

Because mind-reading isn’t a thing, you have to learn how to discern the truth through observation and communication. The latter is very important, especially when it comes down to confronting an employee about their behavior. Try these four steps to see through your employees’ excuses.  


Start by paying attention.

Before you drop an accusation, you want to make sure there’s just reason outside of your suspicion. If your employee is struggling with productivity, see what they’re doing throughout the day. Some tools can help you monitor what’s happening on a computer, but you can also use your eyes to see how frequently they’re away from their desk or in conversation.  

If he or she is out sick frequently, the apparent signs are whether or not they have any symptoms before or after they’re out. But you can also listen and see if these days coincide with late nights or individual plans that would typically be interrupted by work.  


Make a record.

If during observation, you realize the employee is just offering excuses, you want to start building your case. This isn’t to necessarily get them in trouble or fire them, but to show them with evidence why you believe something is amiss. In doing this, you can support your claims if he or she stares at you in disbelief.  


Ask questions.

Even with your evidence and assumptions that you know the real story, don’t immediately go in for the attack. Ask questions about what’s been going on and give them the option to answer honestly. Imply that you know the truth and welcome their transparency. This doesn’t mean there won’t be repercussions, only that you’re willing to work with them.  


Create an action plan.

Regardless of whether or not they admit it, have an action plan in place for improvement. This establishes accountability so your employees will know they have to change, or else they could get in trouble. It also creates a guiding path for you to follow to make sure he or she is making changes.  


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