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I have a manager reporting to me who is performing well in almost all areas and is dealing with an extraordinary amount of added issues related to increased workload, customer demands and problem resolution (much more so than other teams). While I know we'll be able to get through these rough spots, my biggest concern is that it's come to my attention recently that there is tension and stress between the manager and her team members and some of her peers. Some recent attrition, while not too bad due to losing poor performers, is also thought to be attributed to this conflict. New information shows to a high risk of losing key employees and increased tension amongst peers in other departments. It seems to boil down to the manager's approach primarily in dealing with directs (too demanding, abrasive, harsh). I know the manager needs the feedback which we've already started giving. I'm not sure on the best resolution in the short run. Some options are to terminate, reassign manager's role within dept., address the conflicts directly, etc. I feel like I should first attempt to modify behavior through feedback and encourage the manager to be proactive and work through any conflicts directly but also feel like I should play some type of mediation role as well. One of the difficulties is that I don't directly witness those behavior issues as she is very professional towards me and seems to be with others when I'm around. I have started attending more meetings where more people are involved to see if I could see any issues directly so I could give feedback based on my direct observations. At this point, most if not all will be on 2nd or 3rd hand information, however it is becoming a common pattern.
-R26

cowie165's picture

Hi again R26.

If you were to have a round table discussion to mediate your way through, would that harm the manager's reputation as you bring her peers up to a level playing field with their boss?

I wish I had something of use to contribute; I'm keen to learn what to do about a car that looks like a Mercedes but apparently drives like a lemon.

steveaz26's picture

Hello! Thanks for the response MC. A lot has happened in the last 3 days. In brief:
1) Key employee having conflict w/ mgr resigned
2) Feedback given to manager about conflict and style/approach issues. Mgr seemed to take it well and was appreciative of the honesty.
3) Mgr resigned w/ ~ 8 wks lead time.
4) I spoke to key employee to work out a solution for her to stay, she took a day to think about it. Came back and decided to stay with some reasonable requests primarily around resource & workload relief
5) Had one on one w/ mgr to determine if resignation was best for all, concluded that it was.

Luckily I do have someone identified that will take over as new mgr very quickly.

The next few months will be a challenge for that team due to a variety of factors (business conditions, new people, attrition, etc.). Will be an interesting challenge for me to work through.

-R26

cowie165's picture

Wow, BIG changes indeed.

R26 how did you go about:

"5) Had one on one w/ mgr to determine if resignation was best for all, concluded that it was. "

I mean, how exactly determine if it is best for all? Are you going in open-minded or are you strengthening your resolve? I'd love to hear more about prep and conduct of this part!

Thanks!
Mark

steveaz26's picture

Good question. In summary, a large part of the manager's decision was based on personal circumstances that she felt would prevent her from giving the amount of dedication she felt was needed in the job going forward. I believe the manager does have a lot of potential as well as some development areas that would need to be worked on over time as we all do.
PS - Also see private msg I'm sending with some additional information.

Mark's picture

Wow. Sounds to me like you lost the wrong person.

When I read:

[i]a manager reporting to me who is performing well in almost all areas and is dealing with an extraordinary amount of added issues related to increased workload, customer demands and problem resolution (much more so than other teams). [/i]

I think: no surprise there. She's good, and under stress. Some folks will have problems with her.

Was shocked when you said termination as an option...

So what did I miss? Can you be more specific?

Mark

steveaz26's picture

Mark - Good question. Terminate was probably too harsh a word to use. Should've been something more along the lines of 'allow to resign as requested a month ago.' There's actually quite a bit more that needs to be taken into context. Will forward you the 'private' post I sent to cowie165. Didn't feel comfortable putting it all in a public forum.