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I have a dilemna at work. About 3 mos. ago, I had to fire our Exec. Chef, due to the fact that he was having a relationship with an hourly employee, and lied to myself and HR about this issue. Since the economy is so terrible, I was not allowed to "fill the position." In the meantime, the manager directly below the Chef, the Sous Chef, has been doing the job with my help. During our review time, I was told to give him a raise that would reflect the fact that he is doing the job w/out the title, etc.

The only way to do this was to give him part of my raise. I feel bad that he is technically doing the job, w/out the pay, etc. But, at the same time, this is his opportunity to prove that he can do the job. He comes in late occasionally, and works the bare minimum of hours per week.

I want to help him succeed, but I believe that his efforts do not reflect what he has said, that he really wants this position. I feel that my hands are tied because I cannot give him the position or the pay, right now, but I also feel that he needs to put forth effort to show me that he can do the job. My question is this: should my expectations of him be lower due to the situation that he is in? This is very frustrating.

jhack's picture

It's not about the effort. It's the results. Some folks work really hard, put in long hours, and do poor work. Others do amazing work in less than 8 hours a day.

Is the manager getting the work done? Is it meeting or exceeding the standard for the role? Does his coming in late matter? He is likely (in his estimation) "doing his job." Does he know what the standard is?

You should, regardless, have high expectations. Whether you can effectively give him feedback is a matter of whether you've established trust through one-on-one meetings, etc.

Finally, is resentment at having to give him some of "your" raise adding to your frustration?

John

US41's picture

I gotta tell you, being asked to donate your own raise to a direct you do not feel is a top performer... that's got to burn. I think it's wrong. I sympathize with the grief over that.

I take that as a feed-forward: Do not reward skips at the expense of your own directs. You do not have direct contact with them. Your directs should be in charge of that, not you.

AManagerTool's picture

Wow, I thought that as a manager we were supposed to get crappy raises in order to give our directs more.

Our yearly increases are based upon our final ratings. I am told every year that I cannot get a top rating of a 5 (even though I'm told I earned it) because I need to "take one for the team" and allow my staff to get a bit more. I always thought it was [email protected]#$ but accepted it nontheless. What kind of A$$ would I look like if I fought my manger to get that 5 and take a bit more instead of giving it to my staff?

How would you address this situation?

kklogic's picture

AMT,
Do you guys use the Welch system of buckets? IOW, you MUST have X% of people in the bottom category and so on -- with a calibration session that occurs after managers give their initial reviews? That makes a difference in how you might handle this.

cwatine's picture

[quote]My question is this: should my expectations of him be lower due to the situation that he is in?[/quote]

No. There are no reason why you should lower expectations. I don't think you can say to anyone : "well you have to work a little less or achieve less results because I can't pay you more."

You say you are not satisfy with the hours the guy is doing. What about his results, his behaviour? Did you give him any feedback about it? How did he react?

You say that the chef was fired because of wrong attitude and was not replaced because of bad economy ... Well, to me, it means that because of bad economy they found a reason to get rid of one position in the organization chart and they want to get the job done anyway. Is that clear with your boss?

On a side part, I also find it very strange that you get less raise because your direct performs well... Not very encouraging indead!

US41's picture

[quote="AManagerTool"]Wow, I thought that as a manager we were supposed to get crappy raises in order to give our directs more.[/quote]

I believe in paying my directs fairly - that means dividing up the available cash for all annual raises proportionally to their value me and the company in terms of results. If I have a top performer, I load it toward them. If I have a bottom performer, I am less than generous.

When it comes to mine, it comes out of my boss's bucket, not mine. We all have to "take one for the team" in organizations where a bell curve is used for giving scores (a bad solution to the problem of trying to give everyone a perfect score to avoid doing the unpleasant work of telling people to their faces they are doing good, but not great).

But telling you that you are taking it for the team seems to me like a bad manager dodging the real message: a peer of yours got your raise.

[quote]What kind of A$$ would I look like if I fought my manager to get that 5 and take a bit more instead of giving it to my staff?

How would you address this situation?[/quote]

I would do nothing other than build a strong annual review to turn in at the end of the year for myself and ask for a fixed amount to divide up amongst my staff with your own raise not included.

If you are the manager, shouldn't 100% of that raise budget be yours to give to them and not part of your boss's bucket? Why are they giving raises to your directs? That's your job. I would not present that argument - bosses often do not like that kind of criticism or guidance from below them (or anywhere else).

So my suggestion is:

1. Make a great review case for yourself

2. Ask to be given a fixed amount to divide up amongst your directs as you see fit.

That should address the problem if both of these strategies are successful. But dude, not every manager is an MT manager, and you are really only going to be able to fix this by moving up yourself and driving it in your own organization - not drive it upward. They will pound you if you try to change the way the upper ups behave.