As I was working in the office the other day, I received a call from a 26 year-old who had heard me when I was working as an employee retention speaker. He was having conflicts with a fellow co-worker and felt I might be able to help him with some advice. He had only recently started a new job and only days after starting his new boss left the organization. This left him a bit panicked. To further complicate the situation, one of his co-workers was giving him a hard time and bossing him around on an important project they were supposed to be working on together. He was upset, didn’t know what to do and was thinking about quitting! What? Are you nuts? This was a good job the person was in.
Perhaps, I was looking at things with glimpses of nostalgia. I was thinking “is that all that’s happening?” When I was 26, I had already served in the military, was married and was in the midst of a huge investigation of a work-related fatality that had taken place in one of my plants. My initial reaction was to tell him to “suck it up.” But, I controlled myself and we started to problem solve how to deal with the situation. We talked about how to speak to the new boss, how to conduct himself in an upcoming project meeting and potentially confront the co-worker. All of these were likely scenarios he might face. He settled down, went into work the next day and worked through things.
From an employee retention trainer perspective, I am surprised that the new supervisor had not spoken with their people, laid out expectations, assured them that things were under control despite their old boss leaving and tell everyone to not worry and that the organization was on top of things. Logical, rational and professional. Pretty easy in my opinion. And it is.