I work with a new manager who says his number one priority is for his staff "to be happy." He has openly said that he is very sensitive, that he wears his heart on his sleeve and that team morale is his most treasured asset. He has openly labeled a senior member of the team as "negative" for questioning his approach and asked another to help him be the 'positive force’ in the organization." He has even threatened to move the negative person out of the team. This person happens to be the most senior, experienced and accomplished performer in the department.
Who does not want happy staff? We all do, but at what price? He has a daily “mood check” to gauge how the team feels. He is hands-off and soft on enforcing policies and meeting business objectives because he does not “want to be seen as a micro manager.” He also misses 1:1’s and runs team meetings very informally. Some staff members are already taking advantage of his flexibility to put in less hours or spend time on personal matters during work time. Some of the team projects are missing deadlines. Processes are getting longer with some stakeholders already raising eyebrows. Some team members are complaining that others are piggybacking on them, too. Not only is this approach dangerously idealistic, but subjective and dismissive or his real mission being meeting business objectives (we work for a for-profit online retailer, by the way, not the boy’s scouts or an amusement park). Am I being negative? Any thoughts?