How to Deal With a New Worker Who’s off to a Bad Start

Starting a new job is never easy. From becoming comfortable with the environment to handling day to day tasks to making new friends, there are many challenges a new worker must overcome.

Some workers get off to a bad start, despite the fact they are trying their best. This is acceptable. This is something you can deal with. On the flip side, there are new workers who get off to a bad start for all the wrong reasons. They are taking personal calls. They are texting constantly throughout the day. They are leaving early and showing up late.

It’s not the enthusiastic, engaged start you were looking for as a boss. And you have a responsibility to the bottom line. At the same time, hiring is a time consuming process and turnover costs your franchise money. You want to make it work and a hardline approach may just run your new hire out the door.

Approaching the Employee

Here are three of the best ways to deal with a new worker who’s off to a bad start:

1. Monitor the person first

The first day (or week) of a new job can be stressful and challenging on many fronts. You don’t want to make things worse on your newest worker by “calling him or her out” too early in their employment.Depending on your franchise, you may have time to observe before you confront the new employee. See if you can learn a little bit about their personality and work ethic before addressing any issues.

2. Don’t be afraid to speak up

There is a difference between cutting the person some slack and letting them do whatever they want, time and time again. There may come a time when you need to speak up, and doing this sooner rather than later could save you (and the rest of the company) more trouble down the road.

This doesn’t mean you should be combative. You can get your point across in a friendly manner, which may be all it takes to set things straight. People come from a vast array of working experiences and what works in one workplace culture may not in another. They may also have never had a leader that took the time to guide them in the right direction.

3. Ask others for help

For example, you could request that a coworker, somebody who has been with the company for an extended period of time, help the person adjust. Some people struggle to acclimate because they don’t feel comfortable around their peers.
When somebody other than a supervisor offers advice and guidance, it can truly change a new worker’s outlook. In a perfect world, every person you hire will hit the ground running. In the real world, this is very rarely the case. Managing new hires often requires a delicate balance between putting them in a position to succeed by correcting certain behaviors and not discouraging them before they’ve even gotten started.

The three tips above can help you deal with a new worker who’s off to a bad start.

Andy Roe is the General Manager of SurePayroll, Inc., a Paychex Company. SurePayroll is the trusted provider of easy online payroll services to small businesses nationwide. SurePayroll compiles data from small businesses nationwide through its Small Business Scorecard optimism survey, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation’s “micro businesses” those with 1-10 employees.

You can follow Andy on Twitter @AndrewSRoe. Learn More at and

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