Author Topic: Helping Co-worker return to work Update #18  (Read 5105 times)

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White Dragon

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Re: Helping Co-worker return to work
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2013, 03:12:23 PM »
It sounds like you perceive - or are afraid Tanya will perceive -the changes in the job function as criticism of the way she was doing her job before.  But apparently that is not the case - it sounds like a lot of new tasks and responsibilities have been added to the job.

Thank you EllenS, that is exactly what I was concerned about.
I do not want to appear (to both Tanya and our colleagues) that I am being critical or patronizing when I explain the new procedures.
I very much want to maintain a positive atmosphere throughout this process.

My concern about her possibly not liking me is that she may take things the wrong way, leading to conflict. As I am trying to stay with this company long term, I do not want to be seen as the source of conflict.
And, as the newcomer, to be seen as causing conflict with a popular, long-term employee would not only be unprofessional, but could affect my long-term prospects with the company.

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I think you should carefully consider what parts of your list are duties/policies driven by what needs to be done, vs. processes/methods that you prefer, have developed, or work best for you.

The new duties/policies of the organization as a whole, and specific tasks/deliverables that will be expected of her, are what Tanya needs to learn.

I have been giving some thought to this and trying to separate "my way" from "procedure".
It's a bit blurred because I have been creating the procedure, so "my way" *is* now the procedure for some things. So I'm trying to sort out what is essential from what is just my preference.

Tanya is intelligent and well versed in the company's jargon and overall process. Most of what I will be showing her is the day to day execution of various tasks.
Example: she knows that we transmit documents to various agencies. She knows the terminolgy and content of the documents. What's new is the forms, the process and the controls.

Our supervisor has told me to train her as though she were a new hire who hasn't seen any of these forms before.
If Tanya says "Oh, that's the way we used to do it", then we move on to the next thing.
If not, I train her.

Supervisor is going to tell Tanya that this is the approach we're taking. Hopefully, that will help convey that this isn't a criticism of her former work, but rather an evolution.

EllenS

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Re: Helping Co-worker return to work
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2013, 03:34:20 PM »
I see where you are coming from. Great that your supervisor is leading this. I would, whenever possible, attribute any new stuff to what "they" want or "they" are expecting to receive, even if it is something you developed.

KB

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Re: Helping Co-worker return to work
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2013, 09:28:08 PM »
Our supervisor has told me to train her as though she were a new hire who hasn't seen any of these forms before.
If Tanya says "Oh, that's the way we used to do it", then we move on to the next thing.
If not, I train her.

Supervisor is going to tell Tanya that this is the approach we're taking. Hopefully, that will help convey that this isn't a criticism of her former work, but rather an evolution.

Having recently been involved in a lot of cross-training at work, I think this is the best possible approach to take. I would also consider why things work for you. If Tanya comes back with "Oh, I always did it this way" then you need to have a response that goes something like "I found this way to work really well for me because of X." That way you aren't criticising her processes, but you are giving her something to think about. (This may particularly be the case if there are new steps/follow-up processes that Tanya was not aware of before.) Also Tanya may later realise your processes ARE better, but she will prefer to do the things she knows and remembers in the beginning so that she feels more comfortable and 'at home' with everything so she may dismiss your ideas out of hand. You probably won't know if that happens, and you certainly can't say it, but it can be a consolation for you.

The thing that should be uppermost in your mind is not what Tanya thinks but what your supervisor/boss thinks because it is them who will be responsible for the future in the company, not her. If they are happy with you, regardless of Tanya's attitude, then you have done the right thing.

White Dragon

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Re: Helping Co-worker return to work Update #18
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2013, 01:40:15 PM »
I want to thank everyone for the advice. As so many of you calmly pointed out, how Tanya feels about me isn't something I should worry about. Key for me was  how *I* dealt with her.

I am happy to report that things are going excellently.  Any "issues" were my misinterpretation. Tanya has been a pleasure to work with.

Her first words were "So, you're going to teach me my job" and I started to worry.
But I gave her the notes I'd prepared and asked what she wanted to start on.
We agreed on the first task and off we went.

Turns out we laugh a lot when we work together and both roll our eyes at some of the stuff our coworkers do.  :)

Tanya likes the changes we've made and seems pleased that I'll be getting her input as I refine the procedures.
She's gotten back up to speed really quickly and is settling right in.
Looks like my work here is done. ;D

EllenS

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Re: Helping Co-worker return to work Update #18
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2013, 03:30:56 PM »
Awesome.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Helping Co-worker return to work Update #18
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2013, 10:11:43 AM »
I love happy endings.