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Caught between a rock and a hard place

(12 Posts)
FinderofNeedles Sat 09-Jul-16 21:29:35

My small team covers areas A, B and C. A is our main area. We recruited to cover C specifically, about 3 years ago as this was a growing area. The person covering C fits in some non-time-critical work on A as and when they can, which to come extent makes up for the fact that when the person doing C is off, another team member has to cover. This isn't very popular as it takes other team members away from their own tasks. (I hope you are following!)

Now another team lead has made a pitch to take over C. You'd think I'd be biting their hand off. However. The other team lead is already a higher grade than me and has a smaller team. There seems to be some concern that her role isn't 'strong' enough for her grade, which is why she wants to take C out of my remit. My role was recently reviewed and wasn't considered 'strong' enough for it to be upgraded. The 'C' part of my remit in no way maps on to the higher grade. The plan by the other team lead - and her line manager! - is that if she takes on C it will strengthen her role as the higher grade.

So, do I dig my heels in and keep C, or cheerfully hand C over to her? I've struggled for years to be upgraded, without success. She was upgraded after failing to be appointed to a specific, higher-grade, role because her line manager effectively invented a role for her: our new boss now has her higher-grade role scrutiny so she's trying to 'strengthen' it by taking part of my role away from me.

What would you do?

FinderofNeedles Sat 09-Jul-16 21:30:34

under scrutiny

InternationalHouseofToast Sat 09-Jul-16 21:40:01

I would keep C in your team's remit. It shows you can manage to move staff about flexibly to cover work, motivate staff to do work that you need them to do and broadens the portfolio of your team. If A or B were scaled back your team could be vulnerable, less so if you also have C.

If she's just cherry picking other work to improve her own standing she can bog off. You mention her line manager also being keen. Are you happy that your own manager has your back on this and will tell them to back off if you decide to keep C?

whirlwinds Sat 09-Jul-16 21:46:38

I would show backbone and dig my heels in tbh.

isthistoonosy Sat 09-Jul-16 21:52:07

I'd keep c

FinderofNeedles Sat 09-Jul-16 23:20:53

Thanks all. It was my line manager who alerted me to this, the other team lead hasn't spoken to me about it. Her line manager is senior to mine, so he could pull rank. My line manager has warned him of the difficulties in covering the role, but he's determined to go ahead.

The thing is, my team would love to get rid of area C. We would happily absorb the person into the rest of the team if we could, and she would also like that. I've been asking for another team member to help cover A and B for years (team members work lots of unpaid overtime to cover) but we can't afford it. The other team members would love to get rid of area C but retain the person, and lose the disruption of covering C. Morale on the team would improve immeasurably.

In any case, the idea that taking on area C could justify her being a higher grade just sticks in my craw. My preference is to fight to keep C, but that would put me in direct conflict with the rest of the team.

daisychain01 Sun 10-Jul-16 05:20:54

Wouldn't it be perceived as a bit sour grapes to cling onto area C just because you don't want to relinquish some of "your" territory?

After all, you've said that your team wants to get rid of it, and -"Mrs Promotion"' 's more senior manager could pull rank? They could argue it is for business reasons and it's a more effective distribution of resource

You're right it feels like you don't have a choice. But that's life.

I sense if you cling on for dear life, it will reflect badly on you and may even give them justification not to promote you in future because you are inflexible in your thinking and can't see the big picture.

flowery Sun 10-Jul-16 08:22:37

I might be understanding this wrong but it sounds like losing C would benefit the team, and would not have any negative impact on you, and the only reason for holding on to it would be to prevent someone else's career development/promotion.

Unless it's a question of 'whoever has C gets promoted' or similar, why would you do something against the interests of your own team just to stop someone else doing well?

If her doing well does negatively impact you and losing C will negatively impact you then I've obviously misunderstood. But from your post it just sounds like sour grapes.

cheminotte Sun 10-Jul-16 08:29:30

I think the risk is you will lose the person covering C as well as the C work.

daisychain01 Sun 10-Jul-16 08:51:58

Not only would it reflect badly on you if you refuse to budge, thinl how you'd feel if you keep area C, piss off your team because they wanted shot of it, and to top it all, you don't even end up being promoted!

Far better to formalise the decision with management- say you are prepared to pass area C to your colleague because it's the right thing to do, but on the proviso that you tell your team of your decision.

Then use the opportunity to state the benefits of the transfer (less burden on the team's workload, opportunity to increase performance excellence in the remaining area).

Turn it around to your benefit. Maybe the glory will only last a few minutes but it will keep your reputation as a team player and big picture person intact for a lot longer (provided your message is clear about your reasons).

FinderofNeedles Sun 10-Jul-16 14:17:14

flowery & daisychain01 yes, there is an element of sour grapes and I freely admit that here, but I'll get over it!

cheminotte good point. I'd like to retain the person who does C.

daisychain01 you have it in a nutshell. The best outcome is to pass over area C but keep the person and my line manager will support me, so that's what I will aim to achieve.

daisychain01 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:18:57

sometimes these things are worth talking through smile

I hope it all goes well and I think you may find promotion in this role or another one will come your way, sooner than you think

I hope so!

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