Insubordination of employees – Advice??

posted 2 years ago in Career
  • poll:
  • Post # 46
    Member
    6395 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY

    ohitsheragain :  This girl is not the boss.  She’s the employee.  She doesn’t get to question the boss.

    I’m a “boss”, definitely not a millenial, it doesn’t work like you think.  

    Post # 47
    Member
    200 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    abouttodoit17 :   beesaredyingatanalarmingrate :   dgirl715 :   amanda1988 :  I’m definitely not saying I think OP is an awesome manager – I don’t think we have enough info to decide if she’s truly terrible or not.

    My point was ONLY about the employee sending the email.  I think she should certainly discuss her concerns with her manager, and In My Humble Opinion in person would have been better than email.  It sounds like she does have some valid concerns, especially about the last-minute OT.  HOWEVER.  She doesn’t get to question her boss’s working hours.  Period.  That is so not OK.  OP’s superior gets to be concerned with her working hours, and no one else.  OP gets to be concerned about the schedules of the people who work under her.  I cannot FATHOM calling out my boss about her schedule – that is NOT my business.

    Post # 49
    Member
    7852 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    ohitsheragain :  “I cannot FATHOM calling out my boss about her schedule – that is NOT my business.”

    Yeah…like can you imagine if the employee posted about this conundrum on the bee?

    “Hey bees, my manager is forcing us to work overtime tonight with zero notice and I’ve had it! Also she barely ever works herself, which makes it even worse! I can’t stay silent any longer and have drafted an email to send her – do you think I should send it?”

    Like I doubt a single person would tell her it’s a good idea to send that email, with the language that she used. Even if her grievances are 100% justified.

    Post # 50
    Member
    1253 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    ohitsheragain :  If her boss’ schedule is impacting her ability to get work done on time (i.e., boss is delegating work she should be assisting with and going home early), then she has every right to question the legitimacy of those hours.  Exempt employees are exempt because it saves the company money.  Many of us have to extend our working hours beyond 40 hours a week to achieve what the team needs.  Per wage and hour laws, OT can get very expensive. 

    Post # 51
    Member
    900 posts
    Busy bee

    ohitsheragain :  I don’t think it’s a “hard and fast” rule that you can never question your boss’ schedule.  If your boss is continually skipping out early, leaving you with a giant pile of work and no direction on how to prioritize or no assistance when you get stuck…. that needs to be addressed.

     

    If your boss is continually putting you in a bad position where own quality of work (or time it takes you to complete the work) is being criticized, you are responsible for raising the issue and suggesting solutions.  The solution might not be boss needs to work longer hours at the office. Maybe it’s that boss needs to communicate that s/he is always available via cell phone or email until 9pm or boss will have protected open office hours from 7:30-9:30am every morning…..whatever works.  But asking for more support is not out of line. 

     

    I just completed 2+ years of infertility treatments and am now pregnant…I’ve missed more traditional working hours than I can count. The difference is my team ALWAYS knew how to get ahold of me. I posted my “out of office” hours to their calendars, let them know to text me if they needed an asap answer and email if less urgent. It’s my job to makensure my office is supported and running efficiently whether I’m physically present or not. 

     

    And I agree with what a previous poster said…this employee could still be just an awful human being but it doesn’t mean all of her concerns are invalid. 

     

    Post # 52
    Member
    7412 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    Honestly I don’t find her email all that egregious, unless she did a Reply All (which as a manager you should alresdy be preventing by putting everyone on BCC line). Even then, the worst she’s guilty of is poor etiquette; it’s not the conversation that’s the problem. It’s the fact that it’s more appropriate to be held privately. 

    If she has ongoing attendance issues or problems meating her workload , your job as a manager is to understand why, not to jump straight to claims of “insubordination”. I have to say, if I were asked to fill in PTO for being one hour late, I’d feel like I was being micro-managed and I’d be pissed. It’s your job to motivate employees and bring out the best in them. The carrot is always better than the stick.

    It’s also your job as a manager to anticipate upcoming work. There is no reason for end-of-quarter work to be a last minute surprise. It happens every quarter and you own a calendar. Staff accordingly. If you get caught unawares again, ask for volunteers. Frequent Last minute, mandatory overtime is a great way to have a mutiny on your hands. A little humility and understanding will go a long way.

    Post # 53
    Member
    7852 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I mean, i don’t think she was morally wrong to send the email, I just think it was a really dumb move from a career perspective. Like it would be lovely if we lived in a world where employees could call out their incompetent managers* and that would result in the incompetent manager being fired or disciplined somehow, but in my 10 yrs in the workforce I’ve almost never seen that happen. I even worked at a place where three of us filed a sexual harrassment complaint against a manager and all HR did was “put it on file”…9 yrs later and that dude is still employed there. Point being, more often than not, competent lower level employees remain in these heinous jobs with these awful managers, working their tails off and getting more and more demoralized, until maybe they complain to HR or try to go above their boss’s head. But in the end, nothing changes so they find a new job and a new crop of eager newbies cycles in, rinse & repeat.

    Maybe I am just cynical, but I predict what will happen as a result of the email is exactly nothing…except OP now resents this particular employee and certainly won’t forget that resentment when it comes time to make decisions on promotions/raises for her team.

    *I’m not necessarily putting the OP into this category, she may be, but I don’t think we have enough info to say for sure

    Post # 54
    Member
    870 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2010

    Lily_of_the_valley :  are you not responding to your four pages of responses because it seems that very few are on your side? I’m curious to hear your opinion of the responses. And to maybe get more background to this. And also how you handled the overtime today… or maybe you’re not responding because you’re pulling a 12 with everyone. Maybe… 🙂

     

    Post # 55
    Member
    1013 posts
    Bumble bee

    I have quit jobs over the manager not pitching in. Your team is probably feeling very demoralized right now. How do you think HR would feel knowing you never stay late? That’s WHY they make you salaried, By The Way. If they find out you are making your team stay late as you go home, you may not have a job anymore soon….

    A manager who lays back while the team works (and extra work nonetheless!) is the absolute worst kind that probably does not belong in management. Just saying.

    Post # 56
    Member
    200 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    dgirl715 :  Yeah, I’m not sure if we have enough info on OP’s situation.  If it’s necessary for her to be in the office maybe it’s an issue.  If she’s not making herself available for her employees that could be a problem.  But maybe they’re just not self-starters?  Who knows.

    I still think that you can’t call your boss out like she did.  If she’s said “you know, I’m having a tough time with understanding expectations and last minute OT – could we discuss workflow and assignments to ensure we’re all getting things done in advance of deadlines?” I would be 100% sympathetic to the employee.  But “why should we have to work when you leave on time with no work in your arms” is not a way to speak to your manager, and, as evidenced by OP’s post, is a good way to piss off your manager.  She could have brought it up in a way that was constructive.

    Post # 57
    Member
    200 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    tiffanybruiser :  Yes!!!  Nothing’s going to happen to OP.  She’s the boss.  Her employees will eventually leave if they don’t like her or the way they’re being managed.  Again, people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.

    I worked at a job I LOVED for 16 years.  I had 6 different managers during that time, and liked all of them and got along fine.  Until #6.  He was SO terrible, SO unqualified, and after a few months I quit.

    Got a new job.  It was wonderful.  Huge pay cut, but a different career path so I was starting from the bottom.  Great people, great boss.  One year later?  New boss.  None of us could stand him.  After a year of trying to give him a chance, most middle management left, and so did I.  

    Now I have a job in the new career field, advanced enough that I’m back to the salary I left at the long-term job.  Love my manager.  If she leaves before I do?  Who knows.

    Post # 58
    Member
    900 posts
    Busy bee

    ohitsheragain :  I tend to think that if it’s gotten to the point where an employee lashes out like this, they’re frustrated and feeling at the end of their rope.  That doesn’t mean if I received this email, that my first instinct wouldn’t be to be defensive…because I know myself and that would be my initial reaction (“how dare she!”) 

     

    Then again, I’ve had 10+ years of career and management coaching from some of the top leadership programs and people in the business. My company is super proactive about coaching emerging and new leaders and is a big believer in the “people quit managers, not jobs” mantra.  We’re lucky in that the majority of bad managers do get coached out if they aren’t able to make significant improvements in their ability to lead teams.  So situations like this have been drilled and role-played over and over again, making my “second” instinct as a manager to examine my behaviors and actions thoroughly before assigning full blame to the employee.  

     

    I’m sure there’s much more to this story on both sides than we got from the OP.  Hopefully she’s supporting her team 120% today and we’ll hear from her later.

    Post # 59
    Member
    887 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    ohitsheragain :  maybe, maybe not… 

    This is a relatively recent promotion… if OP is on a supervisory probation, these kinds of waves from enough employees could get her un-promoted or even fired (especially if this situation is in any way harming the bottom line, the employees are well-liked, OPs attitude toward employees hits the wrong sr manager’s desk, or if this is a small company that can do without one manager but not a bunch of ticked off employees).  For OP’s sake, let’s hope other employees aren’t complaining directly to HR or to a more senior manager.  

     

    Post # 60
    Member
    1494 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    ohitsheragain :   tiffanybruiser :  Yeah I agree because, while I don’t have enough information to be able to say if the stuff in OP’s employee’s e-mail is true or not, I do know that true or not I would not have sent an e-mail like that, lol.  

    Sure she has the right to say it.  She has the right to call her manager a b*tch if she wants to do that too.  But she doesn’t have the right to be sure that she’d keep her job / have a good reference when she looks for another job.  

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