Beth Barrow

Dear Gabby dispenses opinions to managers who are wrangling performance issues. If you have a scenario for Dear Gabby, contact Lisa Finger.

Dear Gabby,

I’ve got a real mess on my hands. My company recently had layoffs, and I picked up an orphaned team lead named Robert. His manager and most of his group members were laid off. To make matters even “better,” his projects have been phased out. Needless to say, he was shell-shocked when he arrived in my group.

Robert is now the new kid on the block with a remote manager, new team members (only one of the team members is located at his site), and new projects. At his site, the churn level is still high. To add to the situation, his background is heavily weighted to online help, and many of his new projects are paper-based.

I’ve gone out of my way to try to ensure that Robert feels part of the group: teambuilding, one-on-ones, visible projects…you know the drill. They’ve helped some, but I can’t help but notice that he’s not completely engaged in the group or as a project lead.

I’m worried that he’s going to bolt. Given his level of stress, I’m concerned that he might make a rash decision that will help nobody (including him). I know that I have a traumatized employee, so how do I help him through his tough time?

Concerned in Colorado


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