Strategic Business Management Includes Revenue
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I am CA. Deep Upadhyay. I am one of the main partners in Upadhyay & Company – Chartered Accountants. I am in charge of Service Tax & TDS departments in our firm. Further, I also look after matters related to employee recruitment, training, management & satisfaction in our firm.

In recent days, I have come across a strange difficulty of dealing with an employee Mr. N who is also my friend. He was my class mate in my school days & then after he used to be very nice friend of mine & very near to my family. I recruited him considering his efficiency & reliance that I can place on him.
Problems with him are as follows:

1.Very short in punctuality: Frequent holidays, Comes late – Goes late
2.Very short in disciplinary issues: Internet browsing for personal purpose, Reading personal letters of mine, No use of Designation in office – As if he is talking personal matters, No knocking of cabin door while entering, Personal Comments on other staff members, Using boss’ cabin in their absence
3.If any other senior employee delegates him any other extra work, he simply refuses the same by contending it outside his job portfolio.
4.No senior employee or other bosses (same in designation as of mine) scold him as aware of our personal relationship.

I was outside the organisation for 1 & ½ month for setting up of new branch. On my return, I got this report from senior employees. I personally observed his behavior without uttering a word & came to know that the complaints from senior employees are genuine.

I also audited work done by him and good aspects are:
1.Work was nicely managed.
2.Personal attention to each file.
3.Detailed database was managed.
4.He quickly came to understand the usage of software that we use for taxation matters.
5.For clerical level, he is good at laws.

In course of dealing with him in recent days, I experienced that he is not a CA but considers himself as knowledgeable as a CA which I think he is not. He is still in learning phase & still tries to dominate other employees in office. In office, I am his boss but still acts as if friend & tries to indulge even in strategic matters. I have tried to mention this to him indirectly but not finding any improvement or change of behavior. Due to this, as per other partners, we are facing disciplinary issues with some other junior employee also.

What should be my course of action? If I am removing him from organization, I need other employee replacing him & I need to train him which will result in considerable opportunity cost to me. If I am continuing in organization, I need not to worry about matters he is handling, but certainly the level of discipline I have maintained in my organization will suffer. I have indicated these matters to him but as stated no changes came out. I want to handle the issue without affecting personal relations.

As our firm is just taking off in professional world, all the partners are very young & charged with more than one department. (The eldest partner is 27 years old with 5 years of experience. The most senior staff member is 45 years old who came out with the report). So we cannot afford to spend more time on internal issues especially it majorly involves one employee. Kindly guide me in the matter.

Hi Deep,

Hiring a friend/relative/ family member generally brings these issues, but don't lose heart as at least this guy is performing in terms of work. I have seen cases where the relatives doesn't even work and still tries to be the boss.

Coming to your problem now, as he is a good friend, speak to him and share all the concerns mentioned above. Start your conversation with positives and then gradually move to discipline, punctuality and other things where he is a problem. State clearly what the role demands and looking into such qualities and skills you hired him, put in clear terms what your expectations are, set a target date to bring changes in his behavior, if he fails I'm afraid you have to tell him to discontinue.

Second solution could be to involve a third person in the scenario, any of your partners, who can give feedback to him and set expectations clearly. Involving some one else can actually save you from hampering your personal relationship with him. This third person can share all the problem areas and then provide solutions to him as well.

Some fault is your too, that you did not put a stop to some of his actions during his initial days. we don't give authority to read our personal letters to family members also, he is just a friend dear. He is taking advantage of being your friend, before hiring we should clearly state the limits to these people.

Let's hear what other members have to contribute, then we can surely come to a solution.


Dear Mr. Deep Upadhyay
I second to Ms. Archna and i request you to kindly try your best to solve your issues by applying logic and common sense. I am sure you will succeed in your mission.
You need to remain cooooool and think positive all time. Every problem has a solution and consider problem as a challenge, opportunity or obstacle to overcome.
You can do it as you are capable of doing it...
Good luck..
With profound regards

Thank you very much for your kind and concerned replies. I'll incorporate your suggestions in my employee management strategies. And very hopefully, the situation will have positive results for my organization. This situation (& your suggestions) has made me aware of many aspects which I was ignoring. I ve come to conclusion that my personal matters and relations should never affect the organization for which I am working.
Thanks Archna Mam. Thanks to you all for suggestions.

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