It might make sense to give newer employees a bit more leeway when it comes to discipline for poor job performance. After all, sometimes it takes time to learn a job well. But if the newer employees happen to be younger than another, older employee who doesn’t get the same benefit of the doubt, you may spark an age discrimination lawsuit.
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Some employees are overly sensitive. They may perceive punishment or discrimination in something the boss considers merely constructive criticism. Tell supervisors: Don’t shrink from offering criticism, even in the case of a high performer who otherwise has earned a good evaluation.
Employees who work under genuinely intolerable conditions can quit their jobs and still collect unemployment compensation. But those situations are rare—and don’t provide cover for overly sensitive workers. Supervisors routinely criticize employees and offer suggestions for improvement. That’s normal and doesn’t constitute harassment.
At work, numbers speak volumes. If you can’t show, quantitatively, that something is improving, then how can you really know it’s improving? It’s not surprising, then, that more admins are being asked to set SMART goals—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals—to be evaluated against.