458 votes

Engineer refusing to file/disclose patents

I find it interesting that your company has devalued patents significantly, and then seemed surprised when some of your engineers have decided it's not worth their time. You talk about trust, but it'...
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366 votes

Employee (my direct report) underperforming due to religious fasting - how to address?

My question is: how to address underperformance and mistakes with an employee who's a poor performer anyway but it is at "breaking point" due to religious fasting? Don't treat it as a fasting problem,...
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  • 200k
359 votes

Engineer refusing to file/disclose patents

30 patents in two years is roughly $75k a year that's been changed to $15k. So he's been given a $60k a year in pay reduction. So, yeah, he's probably going to quit and go work for someone else. ...
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316 votes

Employee (my direct report) underperforming due to religious fasting - how to address?

In my opinion, your biggest problem is not Charlie or his fasting, it's this: we are short staffed anyway and typically working in "overclocked" mode to meet deadlines. We are a team of 3 including ...
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  • 3,491
205 votes
Accepted

Probably terminated or laid off soon; confront or not?

Don't confront them. Here's why: If they say they aren't going to lay you off, will you believe them? You shouldn't. So you are no closer to resolution or closure. If they say they are letting you go....
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  • 8,269
202 votes
Accepted

How do I address poor performance that is exacerbated by religious practices?

Stick to the facts. How do you know it is their religion that is causing the issue? It could very well be some form of issue with their home life, or maybe they lost "the spark" and are not happy ...
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  • 14.9k
185 votes

Confessions of an incompetent worker. How to cope with colleagues hating me and failing in self improvement?

Your post really struck a chord with me as it is very similar to how I felt at my last job. My previous job involved working in a very corporate environment on a complex system. The work involved a ...
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  • 6,282
178 votes
Accepted

How do I know I'm not unknowingly messing up my software apprenticeship?

The first sign that you're not is the fact that you're concerned that you might be. Give me someone who's a little insecure over a know-it-all any day. It means you're going to ask questions, ...
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178 votes

Extracting work from people who are on PIPs but who we also cannot fire?

There is no way to “turn around” these devs. Short of some come-to-Jesus experience where they decide to work hard for no good reason, they are doing the reasonable thing for the position they are in....
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  • 33.2k
173 votes

Employees are gaming their performance metrics, instead of doing what's best for the company

This is pure and simple a management problem. It's one of the tasks of management to set goals in such a way that by achieving their goals and getting praise and recognition, employees will also ...
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  • 153k
150 votes

How do we improve the relationship with a client software team that performs poorly and is becoming less collaborative?

Please don't mislead yourself, you are nothing more than an external contractor to the company. You are NOT part of the company, so there is no legal or moral reason to grant you anything more than ...
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  • 1,354
149 votes

How can I deal with being told I ask too many questions?

Never just present a problem I took a quick look at your profile and noticed you've been around the StackExchange community for a while. You will undoubtedly have noticed here that the questions which ...
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  • 3,771
133 votes
Accepted

Employees are gaming their performance metrics, instead of doing what's best for the company

This observation (which I have seen myself) has been one of the most unexpected thing I've experienced in my professional life, as opposed to university or school. This is a such a complicated issue, ...
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  • 2,167
133 votes

Extracting work from people who are on PIPs but who we also cannot fire?

You want favours from those you tried to get rid of but couldn't. You openly admit that these people would be out the door but for company hiring rules. You know it. They know it. Everyone knows that ...
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130 votes
Accepted

How to handle undeservedly positive feedback

Stop selling yourself short: the positive feedback is deserved. The expectations for junior developers hired fresh out of university are generally very low, you're a single step above an intern on ...
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  • 9,871
130 votes
Accepted

I just got an invite for a meeting with my boss and boss's boss titled "Performance Improvement Plan". Should I be worried?

While there may be some workplaces in which the PIP is actually used to improve an employees performance, it's usually management's way to provide documentation to justify an employee's termination in ...
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  • 3,434
105 votes
Accepted

Employer says they want Quality & Quantity, but only pays bonuses based on the latter

Based on your statements in the question, I'm going to write the answer(s) How to cope with this situation? If you want monetary benefits, shift your priority to produce quantity rather than ...
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  • 62.1k
104 votes

Employee (my direct report) underperforming due to religious fasting - how to address?

Document specific mistakes and the effect they have on the business. Treat this employee the way you would any employee that was not delivering the level of performance required by the job.
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103 votes

How can I deal with being told I ask too many questions?

There are a couple of points here to unpack. I assumed everybody else at a tech company liked talking about technology... Not necessarily. Many technical people will talk about technology that is ...
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  • 46.2k
100 votes

Extracting work from people who are on PIPs but who we also cannot fire?

Instead of defending your teammates, who act reasonably, like the other posts, I will give you advice. This is the part of your post we need: Extracting work from people who are on PIPs but who we ...
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  • 6,514
98 votes

Probably terminated or laid off soon; confront or not?

I think you should double down on effort AND interview for other roles. I was once put on a PIP, it was shocking at the time and I didn't totally agree with it but I realised it wasn't totally unfair. ...
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  • 6,282
94 votes

I just got an invite for a meeting with my boss and boss's boss titled "Performance Improvement Plan". Should I be worried?

No, do NOT seek a lawyer. The last thing you need is expensive litigation that will only result in large legal bills and being blackballed in your industry as being one who sues employers. Yes, you ...
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87 votes

How do I address poor performance that is exacerbated by religious practices?

I think you should not touch religious ground here at all. One, because it is totally irrelevant, two, because you can get yourself into all kinds of legal difficulties. Why is it irrelevant? Because ...
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  • 153k
85 votes

Engineer refusing to file/disclose patents

Your best alternative really sounds like it is for you to walk away; You are throwing good time after bad trying to entice/squeeze your employee for the new patent. Giving it to you now is an ...
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  • 989
82 votes

Confessions of an incompetent worker. How to cope with colleagues hating me and failing in self improvement?

I just needed to know what am I doing wrong in my job after 2 years of minuscule improvements at my performance. It's not clear from your question what you have done so far. If you haven't already ...
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81 votes

I'm on a PIP but really need this job. Should I ask for a lower salary?

So my question: is asking for lower salary an option? How it will be perceived by my boss? How to formulate it? What to avoid? Did someone successfully pulled it off? You can ask, but it's almost ...
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77 votes

Under performing employee will be fired if I ask for him off my team

This strongly sounds to my like "inner resignment" has already happened. This is a tragedy personally as well as from a management perspective as this is also lost "human capital" which is undervalued ...
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  • 22.1k
76 votes

Engineer refusing to file/disclose patents

This engineer has filed over 30 successful patents over the past 2 years, and all of these inventions are used in our products. This was indication enough for your senior management to not call off ...
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  • 62.1k
74 votes

Dealing with conflict between co-workers for non-work-related issue affecting their work

Fire the "anti-vaccer"? This. They have no business pretending to be a medical professional. Being an anti-vaxxer is essentially being anti-science based medicine. Which is what a medical ...
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  • 95.8k

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