Dear Aunty B,
I have had an outstanding general manager for five years in which time revenue has increased tenfold. While the GM has been managing the company really well, he has a blind spot: a close relationship that he has developed with another employee.
The problem I have is his mate is a slacker. He regularly takes days off, comes in late and is always shutting down his screen when you walk past. In fact I am not sure exactly what he does now but my GM always has the same reply: “He does more than I think.”
My GM is aware of “his mate’s” shortcomings and has moved him around into different positions but he refuses to move him on.
Do I upset my GM by taking this out of his hands? Or do I shut my mouth?
Bonding between employees is common! And so is your problem. Just remind your GM that the slacker has not signed a friendship contract with the company. He has signed an employment contract. If he is not benefiting the business, he has to go. I am sure other employees are highly annoyed at the favoritism that is being showed the slacker by the GM, a fact that should be pointed out to GM.
Here is what I would do. Take GM out for a coffee. Tell him what a great job he is doing but mention it is time to clear up the blind spot. Point out that his friendship will the slacker will probably improve when the “office factor” is taken out of the equation. Offer to take on the difficult task of sacking the slacker.
Simon, you might be surprised. The GM might be thoroughly tired of him by now and the whole process may prove more easy than you think. If not, well, you’re running a business not an introduction agency.