Newbies Bugging You? Ask Them For Answers

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Oct 30, 2013

Dear Barb:

My owner has hired four new employees because he wants our company to set records before the end of this year. I have been with our company for over 15 years, and as a result, the new employees are constantly asking me questions. My owner did the initial training, but I find myself unofficially training and it’s costing me money. I just came off my worst quarter in years. Their constant personal conversations are a major distraction. I don’t want to be rude, but I’m tired of giving them answers all day long and tired of hearing their stories.

My owner is older and hasn’t worked his desk in over a decade. How do I tell him that he needs to train these people and stop them from talking to me? If they are costing me money, they are also costing him money. At this rate we are not going to set production records; we are going to produce less than we did in the first two quarters of this year. How do I approach my boss without appearing like I’m not a team player?

Frustrated in Atlanta

Barb Responds

Dear Frustrated:

The first two pieces of advice I have are directed at you. Each time a new employee asks you a question; your answer should always be the same: “What is your solution?” If you keep providing answers, they will keep asking you questions. If they know you are going to say “What is your solution?” the number of questions will dramatically reduce.

If you are on your phone working, it is much harder for you to be interrupted or be distracted by their personal conversations. You need to tune them out and focus on completing your planned daily outgoing calls in order to maintain your production level.

All owners are receptive to ideas that will increase sales and profits. If you approach your owner to say that you have identified areas that need his training to make the new employees more productive, he will welcome your input.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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