Q: I am 27 and work in an e-retail environment. We are expanding rapidly and have gone from a staff of 6 to 26 in a fairly short time. We have flexible hours but we are all expected to work 35 hours per week. Most of us are totally committed to getting the job done and in fact, stay as long as needed to get the work done. The founders of the company are really great people and none of us want to let them down. But, there are a few people who do as little as possible, disappear for hours on end, do inferior work and never contribute an idea. It makes the rest of us crazy and it is the topic of conversation on breaks. It is starting to bring down the entire morale of the staff. The founders either don’t see it or are choosing to ignore it. A few of us have thought about speaking to the founders. What do you think? Continue to say nothing or speak up?
A: One or two of you may want to speak for the group and approach the founders with hard data about the slackers. Be sure you have documented extended breaks and examples of poor work so the discussion is very concrete. If the founders are smart, they will make some personnel adjustments.
It is documented that particularly Generation Yers are extremely intolerant of poor performers. The founders risk losing star performers if they continue to tolerate poor performance when the economy improves. With 26 staff, it is probably time to hire some supervisors who can monitor the work more closely and ensure everyone is pulling their weight.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
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