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what should senior management do?

(10 Posts)
fluffles Mon 22-Nov-10 21:14:18

ok, so really really overworked and stressed out team. three reporting to middle boss, one direct to top boss (a director). middle boss reports to top boss.

organisation hasn't given nearly enough resouces, not even admin support (top boss commandeered the admin), organisation claims this is top priority project but not freeing up any more staff to assist.

this goes on for a couple of years, about eight months to go.. everybody very stressed.

so.. middle boss now signed off sick with stress. what should the top boss / organisation do?

flowerybeanbag Tue 23-Nov-10 09:46:46

What should they do about which problem? The manager being signed off with stress? Everyone else being stressed? No admin support?

It's not clear from whose point of view you are asking and what you mean by what they 'should' do. Do you mean 'should' do legally, or 'should' do to get the end result they want.

Sorry for questions. I think it would help if you explained who you are in this scenario.

fluffles Wed 24-Nov-10 19:21:33

i'm in the team, used to report to middle boss, now report to....??... nobody?? top boss? who knows..

management have not called a meeting or changed anything... team are now doing all we were doing before AND covering for middle boss...

it's like she's just called in with flu or something, and nobody's even considered that it might mean something needs to change...

and none of us are being shy about saying we need more help/support.

fluffles Wed 24-Nov-10 19:23:28

or is it just that stress is considered a problem of just the individual signed off?

do i have to get signed off myself as well if i want to change my own workload? (i don't want to get signed off as i couldn't handle the knowledge that the work would just pile up while i was gone like it does when i go on holiday and would be worse when i got back).

flowerybeanbag Thu 25-Nov-10 13:22:03

Are you all saying you need help/support together, formally, or just ad hoc individually. Requesting a meeting as a team with the appropriate boss might be a good start.

You don't have to get signed off to change your own workload, and from what you say that wouldn't achieve that anyway.

It's not about saying 'stress is considered a problem of just the individual signed off', obviously everyone views stress differently and in the context of the situation in question. Your boss may well think it's only a problem of the individual involved and not have thought of the knock-on effects, whereas other bosses will know long term absence has an impact on the wider team and will address that.

There's no uniform 'they should do' this or 'they should think' that.

I would suggest requesting a meeting as a team with the top boss. Don't just go alone and all whinge, tempting though it may be. Go with actual hard information about what you are all doing, what needs covering, and hopefully some ideas yourselves about how things could best be managed.

fluffles Thu 25-Nov-10 20:09:26

thanks for the feedback, i appreciate it, i guess i was far too optimistic hoping that in an already hard-pressed team doing the 'top priority' project for the organisation that the boss going off with stress would ring big alarm bells and set off some kind of emergency summit.

clearly not.

we'll just have to keep on at the top boss and keep getting piecemeal solutions of junior help for a day here and there (whereas what we really need is at least one or two more people on the team to take actual responsibility for work packages).

thanks anyway.

BerylStreep Thu 25-Nov-10 20:24:44

If the work you are doing is in the context of a project, there should be a project manager who is managing things. If it is being managed properly, it will be to principles such as Prince2, which has clear protocols for escalating issues which could result in the failure of the project.

The benefit of working within this type of framework is that management are informed of concerns in a structured way, and ultimately they are responsible if they fail to provide correct resources for the project.

Find out who the formal project manager is, and discuss your concerns. Are you in a position to put forward any ideas which could help, for example, use of agency staff, identifying packages of work which could be outsourced, etc?

I know how frustrating this can be. I have been there. No admin is a PITA.

flowerybeanbag Thu 25-Nov-10 20:42:28

If piecemeal solutions aren't going to work, meet with your boss together as a team, and put forward what you need and why in a structured, evidenced format, rather than keeping on at him.

fluffles Thu 25-Nov-10 22:01:28

the formal project manager is external and we don't see him (and he doesn't seem to do much except mediate between us and various other external contractors)

anyway, i should leave this thread now before i say too much and become identifiable.

flowery - you are right of course, but we are just all so harried and harassed we have never found time to sit down and work out a way forward.. i guess we hoped the people getting the big bucks would do it angry

flowerybeanbag Thu 25-Nov-10 22:07:27

Well you're right of course, the people getting the big bucks should do it.

But you can't make someone else do something, you can only control your own actions. So the only thing you can do in a difficult situation is work out what outcome you want and decide what action you can possibly take that will maximise your chances of getting there.

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