Clare Eager – your new HR agony aunt
I have just recently been promoted and I now have a team and all is going well except for one of my direct reports. They don’t follow my instructions, they achieve the opposite outcome and I feel they are undermining me. Any top tips please?
From Management Newbie
Dear Management Newbie
It’s tough isn’t it, being promoted because of your technical expertise, however it doesn’t automatically mean that you have got the experience of managing people and this is something that businesses tend to forget when promoting.
My suggested course of action would be to arrange a meeting with your line manager and explain your concern at lack of knowledge of company management policies and processes to follow and that you would like some training. Following this training, you will then be better equipped to address your concerns with your report.
In the meantime, you may wish to have a one to one with the individual and review their objectives/targets and agree them as their new line manager, and confirm your expectations moving forward. I call this the “line in the sand” discussion, letting your employee know that you understand your role as manager and what you expect of them as the employee. This gives you a base to work from if you need to address their performance in the future.
Hope this helps and wishing you a successful career.
There’s the good, the bad and then there’s HR people
THERE is a hierarchy within an organisation. Starting with the high-flying executives who are involved in positioning the business, making it commercially viable and successful, l through to those who are at the ‘coal face’ the employees who make and produce the ‘widget’ – whatever that widget may be. Let’s call these the ‘good’.
Then, there are those employees in areas like procurement and finance that are able to help the business operate smarter, by spending less and accumulating more through the operation of processes and procedures. Let’s call these the ‘bad’.
Finally, there is the human resources department. They are usually perceived as worse than the ‘ugly’, because HR departments don’t let the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ do anything – especially the ‘good’.
They won’t let managers recruit who they want to. They won’t let managers sack who they want to. They make managers jump through hoops to even performance manage their teams.
HR people poke their noses into everything, and are constantly sucking air in through clenched teeth and saying (whilst shaking their heads), “No, you can’t do that.” HR people eavesdrop on conversations and report back to the wrong people. HR people only listen to the employee and then without fail take the side of the employee rather than the manager (although lots of employees see them on the side of the manager).
HR people live by their mantra of “I don’t do numbers”. HR people are not commercial and there is absolutely no way that an HR person will ever make a decision. HR people’s performance is measured by the number of obstacles they can put in the way of an outcome being delivered. Obviously the greater the number of obstacles or increased difficulty of the obstacles means a better performance rating.
Unlike possession, perception is not nine tenth’s correct. Think you know HR people? Then you need to think again.
Over the coming weeks I want to share ideas and information with you to help you start to realise the enormous benefits of well-managed HR. And just to prove how committed I am to changing the perception of HR I’ll invite you to send your HR questions and problems to me and we’ll see if they make a nice case study for this column. Please keep your stories anonymous by changing names. We will change your name and we will never reveal your email address.
Send your HR questions to email@example.com
Clare Eager is managing director of Peterborough-based PeopleHR Limited. See more at www.peoplehr.co.uk