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WWYD? Dysfunctional team

(4 Posts)
FinderofNeedles Fri 09-Sep-16 18:26:08

You are a manager with several teams reporting to you. One team is dysfunctional: they distrust each other, they distrust the team leader, they alternate between being 'best friends' and bitching about the others, including issuing accusations of bullying. All are very emotional, eg they start to cry when errors are brought to their attention or if the team lead makes a decision they don't like. The older, more experienced team members (and one in particular, let's call her Wendy) do not reinforce the team lead's decisions but appear to encourage the younger, less experienced ones to complain or disregard decisions. Wendy has very strong opinions, often openly disagrees with the team lead, and the others won't speak out against her in front of her - they don't want to get on the wrong side of her!

They all confided in a colleague from another team who offered to act as informal mediator (the team lead was unaware of this). He collated their concerns and brought them to you. Some of their 'concerns' are based on factual inaccuracies. It was basically a series of venting sessions.

You support the team lead. What would you do to improve behaviour across the team and bring them all, especially Wendy, into line?

user1471453601 Fri 09-Sep-16 18:36:55

As a (retired)senior manager the first thing I would do would be to transfer "Wendy" to a team with a strong tem leader. I'd see how the the rest of the team went along.

The Thing with the Wendy's of this world are that they are often very effective, but sometimes borred, so make life interesting by causing others to be disruptive.

So give her something new and interesting to do. If that doesn't work, start disciplinary action

childmaintenanceserviceinquiry Fri 09-Sep-16 19:04:19

split them up and isolate wendy.

I would reallocate all of that team individually and allocate them to a new mentor in your existing teams for a few weeks. let them see how a good team runs. Include training on what is expected (ie deal with the misinformation). You will then need to set that team back up from scratch using staff from several teams.

Isolating Wendy - finding her a genuine job where "she can use her skills and talents to the max" ie you are NOT demoting or getting rid of her.

Have you talked to your HR department? I would.

FinderofNeedles Sat 10-Sep-16 01:00:13

Thanks, user and child - some useful tips there. HR are already involved but I want to get them more involved. I can see that removing Wendy from the mix, even temporarily, could be the way to go.

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