New starter not acting like herself - what to do?


I work in a corporate job and in October we hired a new person. I’m her manager. She has been great and I’ve been really impressed with her work and attitude. However, in the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a huge difference. Her attitude and behavior have been unusual - she’s distant, is not performing particularly well, seems uninterested, one time she randomly dropped off a group call halfway through. She is not acting like herself at all and me and my manager are worried.

Her performance review is in two weeks. I’m wondering what to do…bring it up now? Or wait until her review? Make it more “are you ok?” or more about performance? I’m a new manager so looking for any advice. Thanks.


Don't wait until review time. That's for something very different than this kind of thing.

I'd approach her and ask her how she's doing, note that you've noticed that she's been seeming distant and her performance is noticeably changed. Don't dig into it because it's most likely private and she should feel safe to speak to you but not pressured to spill her personal life either.

You've known her long enough to approach her gently and with concern. It may be a sickness in the family or a breakup, it could just be a funk. Or maybe something happened at work and she doesn't feel like she can tell you about it for some reason. You just never know. So approach with kindness.

But in no way should you put off approaching her, especially not during a review! Give her a heads up that it's noticeable. Lots of people who go through these situations don't realize others are paying attention like that and they're slipping up. She may feel invisible if she's just dipping out of a group call halfway through, that's concerning!

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