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Enough to complain?(16 Posts)
2 years ago I relocated my family for a job promotion 2 hrs away from my 'home' at significant disruption to them. The job has been a mixed blessing and a bit of a poisoned challace. I'm keeping it vague to avoid it being outing. Basically it is something of a leadership role and when I arrived the deputy head of the section told me that x department ran their operations like an 'arts and crafts hobby' (meaning not professional). However some of it may have been lack of resources as the previous head of dept was doing 2 roles. Mine and head of department. I tried to work with the dept (I'm second in command) to modernise and address the concerns of the head of section, providing regular meetings etc.
However the final straw has come just before the Xmas holidays with the (new);head of department calling me in and saying they wanted more from me, I don't communicate enough etc.... None of this was mentioned explicitly in my annual review a month earlier. The head gives me way more actions in group meetings than any other staff member and has shamed me when I haven't achieved them all. The head publicly in a meeting called some previous structural changes I had managed to pull off disorganised, despite them being hard to implement because of staff resistance. No praise has been given by them for any thing I have achieved in the last to years, including increasing consumer satisfaction levels to previous high levels which had been list before I arrived because of some personnel issues.
I have been openly attached by a number of staff in the last 2 years for minor things which they have had issues with (me instituting quality control measures after a consumer complaint) and staff members disagreeing with my modernisation plans. Consumers themselves are often very demanding and unforgiving.. my direct line manager is a micromanager. They will be in place for another 2 years at least (though perhaps more).
All in all it has become a grim place to work. Despite the decent salary I feel marginalised and want out. But I've kind of moved my kids and life here and have nothing else to go to. Is this grounds for a complaint or constructive dismissal? There is more I haven't mentioned here.
Openly attacked - sorry autocorrect!!!
This doesn't sound at all positive. It sounds like they hired you to make improvements to their business operations but when push comes to shove, your management has abandoned you, not given you any backing (maybe as a consequence of strong pushback from long-standing staff) and made you into an outsider.
Devils Advocate question .... Do you think the changes you've brought in could have been managed better in terms of partnership and engagement with your internal and external stakeholders to get them on board and embracing the change rather than them perceiving you as the bad person inflicting change on them?
In terms of next steps, the ability to prove constructive dismissal is likely going to be complex and expensive. Might be best to have a start of year meeting asap to try and understand how they want you to do things differently, and say you are very committed to making a difference and building bridges with the staff.
See if they are in anyway receptive to helping you to do what they need. Meanwhile, plan for the worst and get your CV out there, to see what new opportunities may exist.
Thank you for this. I have done lots of consultation, including presenting a full away day, with the rationale for change. Perhaps I could have done even more. Some staff are very stubborn. I think you're right, I need to whip my CV into shape and start looking!
Definitely not enough for constructive dismissal but it doesn't sound like a good place to work.
In your situation I'd look for another job locally and in the meantime pick your battles in your current situation.
However, characterising staff as "stubborn" when bringing them through organisational changes to me shows that you don't really understand OD. You could get some extra support for this - coaching or self study.
Thanks for this. However even the head of department has called some staff very stubborn, so it's not just me saying that.
I'd venture to say your HoD needs a bit of re-education as well then.
What are the odds that your company happens to have more stubborn staff than others/the general population?
Organisational change is hard. People get scared and defensive and resistant and hostile. These are all understandable reactions. It takes a lot of thought and time to bring people with you through change.
I've done a lot of this in my career so I don't underestimate what you are up against, but writing people off as stubborn is lazy.
If you are so good at organisational change as you suggest @CheddarGorgeous then please share your experiences/ wisdom on how to do it!
No this doesn’t sound like constructive dismissal.
Again, if it was so simple that it could be explained in a Mumsnet post the OP wouldn't have a problem
But, just for you, here's some headlines:
Full senior management buy in, frequent clear communication from them, modelling new behaviours.
Understanding organisational culture and supporting changes required.
Measures, targets, KPIs, performance management, recognition, reward, remuneration aligned to desired changes.
Co-design of changes and implementation - meaningful staff engagement.
Comprehensive internal communications plan to support journey through change.
Ensuring supporting systems, processes and tech are enabling of change.
If OP has been left to implement major organisational change on her own she will fail, through no fault of her own. Which is why I advised her to pick her battles while she looks for another job.
Sorry - I missed the name change and didn't see it was the OP I was replying to.
I am sympathetic. It's horrible when hard work is unappreciated and you feel like your manger doesn't have your back.
You are sounding quite emotional about it, which is again understandable. But your organisation sadly doesn't care that you relocated and disrupted your family, so for the purposes of your job that bit is irrelevant. It's probably made you susceptible to a bit of sunken cost fallacy as well.
I hope it all works out for you.
Thanks, I forgot I name changed!
It's not a corporate organisation by the way, but I can't say much more because it is outing. However I have done many of the things you have listed above. The key thing is this new boss has started nit picking my work, and publicly making me look bad whilst trying to get me to make these organisational changes. So setting me up for failure really. I'm confident that I have done good work, so I don't know what it is all about really.
The key thing is this new boss has started nit picking my work, and publicly making me look bad whilst trying to get me to make these organisational changes. So setting me up for failure really. I'm confident that I have done good work, so I don't know what it is all about really.
It is a terrible thing they have done, bringing you into their organisation, giving you a mandate to make changes, which you must believe will bring tangible benefits (otherwise you would not have recommended, and tried to implement them), then turning on you.
I have "been there, and done that" in my career, I know how bad it feels, and the betrayal is immense. Your management sound gutless, they should be sticking by you and instead it sounds like they've had cold feet and probably massive pushback from staff who may have long standing allegiance and goodwill for historic reasons about which you may never know.
There are times when good work doesn't count, there is no rhyme or reason. If they are continuing to be negative and you see no chink of light or hope - even some indication and support on what needs to happen next, then I'm afraid you will need to quickly face facts, as it could seriously compromise your confidence when you may otherwise have no reason to doubt yourself.
A candid and constructive conversation with your manager along the lines of "do you feel things are not working out then?" will force the issue. They will either furiously back-pedal, state that it's all a misunderstanding and they don't want to lose you, or they may agree that parting company is best all round. Far better to know the truth soon, otherwise the coming months may be torturous with them continuing the "death by a thousand cuts" treatment.
@daisychain01 thanks for these useful comments.
I have no energy and am dreading going back in next week. No idea what to do. I thought I was doing a good job FFS!
I'm so sorry for this situation you're faced with. Be strong, try to remember it is just a job at the end of the day. It sounds like you have plenty of experience and could port your skills to many other companies where they value good Change Management.
I would take the bull by the horns, so you keep control of your stress levels, and don't allow them the satisfaction of beating you down.
One minute at a time. Meanwhile try to put it out of your mind for the weekend, and enjoy that precious time off. It will work out, believe me. I've used the term Z-Pathing numerous times in my career, because it has never been a straight line. But each step of the way, both positive and painful has led to rich learnings x