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Employees talking behind owners back

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Recently, I discovered that an employee of ours mocks and makes fun of me (the owner) during my time off. They take my words out of context, poke fun at the way I talk and work the business, and most of all just disrespect me. Should I confront this employee? If so, what do I say? I have had meetings in the past with the techs and tell them if they have any comments, suggestions, concerns, complaints, etc. to come to me directly and it will be handled accordingly. But rather, they choose to criticize my actions, and mimic me.



Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.



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The first question I have for you is, "how did you find out about it". The reason why I ask, is to be sure you can trust the source.


Then again, if this person is poking fun and trash talking behind your back, this is a problem. Gossip and trash talk about the boss or fellow workers is poison and should not be allowed. I am sure most of us were brought up the way I was; "If you can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything at all."


I would approach the person, but be very careful and be professional. This person will know that someone in the shop "turned him in" and this may lead to other issues. Morale is what I am concerned about.


In the end, they are only words and maybe this person has issues within his own life. He is lashing out on you either out of jealousy, because you ARE the boss, or he may feel inadequate with himself. It is most likely not about you at all, but about himself.


Above all, this is the time for you to be a true leader and rise above all pettiness.

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We have an employee that keeps stirring the pot with all the employees. I knew I should let this person go, but felt so sorry for her. She is older and says she doesn't have a life. It has gotten out of hand and it is my fault. Please don't let this happen to you. She has tried to get other people fired and when I have investigated, it has so many 1/2 truths. We have tried to help her and it hasn't worked. We kept her way too long thinking we could change the situation.

Sorry to hear that :(

Seems like you have one bad apple and it is spoiling your batch. If the person lived to "ripe age" and have not learned how to play with others, or learned bad habits that he/she can't live without - time to let her go. Just think of it this way, you actually negatively affecting the lives of your other employees by keeping her around out of pity. No real benefit to her and harm to others, including you and your business.

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Your building a team, talk to your team. It doesn't have to be a witch hunt, generally your team is likely to be very aware of the problem. In some cases, it's best to get "buy in" from all or at least your key team members before pulling the trigger on a possible trouble maker.


If we fired everyone that made a mistake there would be no one left but ourselves in the shop and we'd eventually have to get rid of ourselves too! Source the intent of the tom foolery, talk to your team, talk to the culprit and then make a decision as to whether it's a real problem, or just a little poor judgement. Firing is easy, hiring is hard, but managing people is even harder. Every issue with a team member is an opportunity to grow.



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There is a difference between a "mistake" and purposely filling being disrespectful. I would give him one warning and then fire him and make it well known why he was fired. If you don't put te fire out now it will only spread.

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I imagine many of us have gotten an employee who turns out to be real beast sometimes. You can generally tell when you have an employee causing disruption among others or doing bad things directed at you. We had one had the opportunity and the talent to become the perfect Service Manager. Sadly he turned out to be more of a crocodile. He was in training and given some important responsibility just because his potential and talent for one being so young, in his early 20's. His immaturity level was just too much to overcome.


We actually gave him too many chances, being convinced we could change him. Some people you just can't mold into what you think they can be, no matter what. It was disappointment to have to let him go, the customers really liked him, and we had invested a lot of time and money into him, but we had no choice. He was causing chaos out in the service bays and plenty of headaches,even division among family members even between shops.


This was recent and we are still struggling to fill the void with another person to train for management. The problems he caused are still fresh and we still licking our wounds on this one. We also had to let go of one decent employee and disipline another since they were helping him like a little gang.


Most of the time if the employee is pulling things like this and trying to put a wedge between you and your employees, you can usually tell something is going on without anyone alerting you. I would keep an eye open and then take appropriate action when you are certain that this employee is actually doing this and using it for the purpose of causing a rift or disruption to your daily business. It doesn't take much especially, with the current economic situation and the heat of the summer to ruin the morale in the bays or the office.

Even so, if you are uncomfortable with any employee then it is best to talk withnothing held back with the offender and if you are still not satisfied then you just need to cut the employee lose and save on the grief. I wish we had done this before letting him get so far into the inner part of our organization. He is one of those who, once found out, you realize he was in a position and very capable sneaking away with your customer base or other private business info. So far we have been lucky on that but I shudder to think, what he could have gotten away with.

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