Being ignored at work by employees

(19 Posts)
Redcliff Fri 19-Apr-13 22:47:55

I started a new job a few months ago and two of the people I manage are not talking to me. They are clearly not happy with the way I am doing things and this is manifesting itself by not replying when I say good morning or good night and if I ask one of them how their weekend was I get a one word answer. Even when I need to talk to them about work matters they often wont look at me and say the minimum of what they need to. I have raised this with them - one of them says that as we are never going to be friends then it feels false to say good morning or whatever and the other is even more dismissive. I get on well with everyone else and I don't know if I should just leave it (just stop trying to engage) or not. What would you do?

deleted203 Fri 19-Apr-13 22:54:41

Would need more details about your actual position in firm, really. Do you have someone above you? Because I would be going to speak to them about these employees if so, and explain that this situation is impossible. I would certainly not just leave it. Someone needs to be calling them both in and speaking sharply to them about their attitude and point out that they are jeopardising their jobs by their unprofessional behaviour. It is pathetically childish to be dismissive to your line manager, refuse to speak or acknowledge them, yet believe that this type of behaviour is acceptable at work. Make a formal complaint about them.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 19-Apr-13 22:55:35

I would say that someone needs to be the OP, in order to gain any respect from them. Not a nice job, sorry

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 19-Apr-13 22:56:36

You need to put it to them that they don't need to be friendly, but they do need to be courteous and professional. And that if their failure to effectively communicate with you impacts on their work, then that will be dealt with appropriately.

Redcliff Fri 19-Apr-13 23:18:44

I do have someone above me and they have been very supportive but they don't know what I can do or why they are being so difficult. I have someone else make a complaint about one of them and when I addressed it with her (in a x has said this and I would like to get your side of things) she said I was picking on her and thay maybe she should ask the union to be present if I need to talk to her.

Your right - I do need to adress it. It has really started to affect me and its a shame as the job it's self is great if a little stressful at times.

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 19-Apr-13 23:22:11

I would call her bluff and tell her to go ahead and organise a union rep.

Redcliff Fri 19-Apr-13 23:26:26

In a bring it on kind of way? I like it - am feeling better already

AnneEyhtMeyer Fri 19-Apr-13 23:30:02

Did one of them apply for the role you got? I have had this happen. It never gets better, so you end up having to manage them out of the business.

Redcliff Fri 19-Apr-13 23:36:52

I don;t think they would wanted me role - it is pretty stressful and too big a step up given their lack of experince. Can I ask how you managed them out?

AnneEyhtMeyer Fri 19-Apr-13 23:44:48

You would be surprised - one time I had a junior admin lady apply for the senior management position I was appointed to.

When this has happened I have either reorganised the department and made their role redundant or if possible taken them down disciplinary / capability due to their behaviour / inability to perform their role.

deleted203 Sat 20-Apr-13 00:03:18

OK...you do need to sort this - because you say someone else has made a complaint about one of them - and when you tried to address it she said that you were picking on her and made threats about the union. I get the impression that you backed off at that point.

You can't do that - or you are not doing your job properly and this employee is intimidating you into not following through a legitimate complaint. The person who complained has every right to expect that their issue will be investigated and followed up - not that employee x can give you a bitchy stare, say 'You're picking on me' and walk off, refusing to discuss it. That is appalling.

I'm not impressed at your manager, to be honest. Saying that they don't know what you can do, or why these employees are being so difficult is not good enough, and not supportive enough. It doesn't matter why quite frankly. It needs to stop. You need to speak to your manager and say you are not going to tolerate this any more. I would suggest that the two of you have a meeting with these employees (individually) and both of you - yourself AND your manager present a united front. Spell it out to them in blunt terms that they are receiving a formal verbal warning about their poor attitude. Tell them that if they continue to refuse to reply to you when you speak to them and if their attitude continues to be dismissive then you will be instigating a formal disciplinary. They are damaging your ability to do your job effectively by their behaviour, and they are certainly not doing their own in a satisfactory manner. They are welcome to have a union rep with them.

This should mean that they either pull themselves together or face the fact that they will be dismissed.

Redcliff Sat 20-Apr-13 00:07:33

We are a due a big reorg this time next year so no scope to do a small on now and very hard to get disciplinary/capability started. We do have appraisals coming up so should be able get some clear messages about behaviour in there.

LeChatRouge Sat 20-Apr-13 00:10:27

Great answer sowornout

I was popping in to say can you transfer one to a different dept or branch or area? I think the fact they work together is encouraging them to winge and behave like this.

Redcliff Sat 20-Apr-13 00:20:37

Sowornout - great reply. I didn't back off though - I told her that I needed to see an improvement and that I would be monitering the situation. There has been some improvement since then (in terms of the work she has been doing) and my manager told me that she had been to see him to complain about me and he told her that I was her manager and that I was being reasonable and that she was being childish which cheered me up no end.

I think your right about me and manager presenting a united fount - I just wonder if that makes me look like I am getting him to fight my battles.

No real chance to transfer either one anywhere - I wish!

Redcliff Sat 20-Apr-13 00:22:08

PS - sorry about all the typos - having fun with the laptop!

Chottie Sat 20-Apr-13 04:58:52

Do you have an HR dept / person at work?

I would check I was really au fait with all procedures and policies. Then I would start logging all events and have separate meetings with these people to discuss their work progress. As part of the meeting I would bring up x, y and z. Ask for their comments, explain why their actions are unacceptable and give them clear actions and dates to be completed by. This needs to be logged and recorded formally. Explain that this information will be held on their file.

I would say it doesn't matter whether you are restructuring or whatever next year, this needs to be dealt with now or else it will escalate. On a practical note, do they sit together or near each other? If so, can they be separated? divide and conquer?

Good luck, it is not easy, but you need to nip it in the bud. To be honest they sound like a pair of toddlers having a sulk!

flowery Sat 20-Apr-13 07:37:03

Why is it difficult to discipline them at the moment? confused

Don't use the procedure recommended by sowornout because that will get you into trouble.

The issue is they don't respect you and it sounds like you haven't been anywhere near firm enough with them about this. It sounds like you've asked them rather than told them to sort their attitude out pronto. You need to have that very firm conversation ( you not your manager) and make it clear that rudeness like this is completely unacceptable and a further incidence of it will be a disciplinary issue. End of discussion.

Then familiarise yourself with the disciplinary procedure so you know exactly what procedure you will need to follow to give them a formal verbal warning and follow it absolutely to the letter.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sat 20-Apr-13 07:54:34

Have you documented the discussions you have had with them so far? In 1:1 notes or via email for example? If not I would start doing so.
If appraisal leads to pay or other review and you add things there that you haven't evidentially discussed this could lead to an issue / possible grievance for you.
And with regards to the complaint , you don't have to have representation at a fact find. If your team member wants to involve the union then they have to wait for a formal meeting.
They sound pretty nasty so ensure you document and give examples of their behaviours.

Redcliff Sat 20-Apr-13 08:44:58

Thank you so much for all your relplies - I think in the back of my head I thought if I took the softly softly approuch then things would get better in time(and yes have been asking not telling) but clearly its not and yes - to start documenting now and the clear "this is what your doing wrong and this is what I need to happen and this is what the sanctions are" conversation.And I am guessing the union thing may have been a bit of a threat but like you said - not at the fomal stage yet so no need for them tho be there.

The only reason I say it's hard to take formal action is the lenght of time it takes for anything to happen where I work but that doesn't mean I shouldn't start. The option of them not sitting together is worth thinking about but I sit next to the person I work closest to and moving would mean me sitting next to one of them.

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