Submitted by yt8019 on
I am an inexperienced manager. I often have to be hands-on with the two employees and naturally there are disagreements. One employee almost always tries to turn a situation into "us (employees) vs you (management)" and I found that it prevents any productive discussion from happening. I understand she uses this to gain support from fellow employees, it is irritating and unproductive. What are possible ways to defuse the situation -- as I can't change my status (as it's also my family business)?
Where are you with rolling out the trinity?
You didn't mention whether you're doing one-on-ones and whether you've progressed to the point of giving feedback. I would start there - following the M-T guidelines regarding timing. They may be testing you as a new manager, to see how much they can get away with, or they may be truly unhappy.
M-T has a series of emails that will help you roll out the trinity if you haven't already done so. They're timed to coincide with the recommended roll-out schedule, and each one contains helpful tips to keep in mind as you implement that step.
It's tough having employees who complain, and especially hard when they block productive discussion about their concerns. I recommend trying the M-T trinity to see if these employees can be turned around. If they can't - or won't - improve after you've put in the effort to resolve the situation, I believe the next move is to encourage them to move on.
As a longtime manager but also a former individual contributor who used to be annoyed at some management decisions, I see both sides. As a manager, your goal is to help make your employee effective in his role so that you can achieve your team's business goals. You and he have common goals, so it may be helpful for him to be reminded of those goals. It's also helpful to share with him the reasons for management decisions (as much as you can given constraints about confidentiality, etc.). Knowing those reasons and that management supports him doing his job to the best extent possible may help him realize that you both are on the same side.