DEAR HARRIETTE: The new girl at my job is making me look bad. I trained her myself, but none of the training is seeming to stick. She’s in a probationary period right now, and I’m due to give my analysis of her in a week. I really like her, but she’s performing so poorly that I cannot cosign. Should I give her a chance to get her act together, or should I be honest about her poor performance? Giving an inaccurate report could put my job in jeopardy. -- Poor Performance
DEAR POOR PERFORMANCE: Lying helps no one, especially in this situation. Talk to this new employee before her formal job performance meeting. Ask her what is happening that is making it hard for her to complete her duties efficiently. Tell her that you are concerned that she does not seem to understand what she has to do or is choosing not to do the work in the manner you taught her. Encourage her to talk to you about what is preventing her from doing her job well.
Listen carefully so that you can gain insight into what’s going on with her. Remind her that her evaluation is coming up and that as it stands, she will not get a good review. Give her suggestions for what she can do now to improve her job performance. Then, at her evaluation, tell the truth. If she shows any sign of improvement after your conversation, you can note that. But, by all means, you must be direct and honest in your analysis. Otherwise, you damage your reputation and put the productivity of your company at risk.