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Focus on performance, not mood

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Q I supervise a moody employee. At least twice a week, I stop by her office to say hi and she’s glum. I’ve asked her, “Are you OK? You seem a little down.” She always says she’s fine. Other days, she’s upbeat. I met with her some months ago because the president noticed her attitude, and he didn’t like it. She improved temporarily but now seems back to the same cycle. Any ideas?

A Suggest that the individual seek counseling, especially if your organization offers an employee assistance program (EAP) or related resource.

Just don’t press too hard. Generally, it’s best to focus on the employee’s work. Hold the employee accountable for her duties in a fair, measurable way. This employee sounds like she’ll do best in an isolated setting where she can work with few distractions.

Above all, don’t blow her moodiness out of proportion. If she’s downcast, let it go. Don’t let her glum demeanor bother you, as long as she gets her work done and doesn’t pick fights or make the whole office miserable. And resist the well-intentioned urge to ask, “Are you OK?” She might perceive it as nosy.

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