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Does anyone manage a team and only work p/t?

(15 Posts)
paolosgirl Tue 24-May-05 20:57:02

I'm finding it a bit hard - I used to job share, but my j/s partner left and is not being replaced as there is a recruitment freeze. My deputy, who has been acting up on a temporary basis, is now back in her old role - and fuming! She thought the job was hers (despite not being qualified) and is making life VERY hard.
Anyone else work p/t and manage a team who all work f/t. Any hints?

tillykins Tue 24-May-05 20:59:52


I find the hardest part is missing stuff - the more personal stuff that goes on, rather than work stuff, or even little things like when they forget to have me sign a card, drives me nuts. If I haven't been informed on a work related thing, I tackle my deputy about it - I consider it her role to keep my up to date if I am on a free day, as much as if I have been on AL

What specifically is giving you a problem?

Thomcat Tue 24-May-05 20:59:55

Not a team as such no, i'm a manager and I manage 1 person, and my boss who needs a lot of managing. I have to gee him up every 5 mins. I work from 10am - 6 and I do 4 days a week.
no tips as don't think mine is the same thing.
Good luck, hope it gets easier, or soemthing sorts itself out and makes it easier for you.

darlingbud Tue 24-May-05 20:59:56

Although I have been full time since December I did manage my team when I was part time. There is a recruitment freeze where I work and we are also not acting people up anymore. However, I didn't job share I did iy myself.

If you give me an idea of the kind of work you do I might be able to come up with some managing/coping strategies for you to try.

Starsky Tue 24-May-05 21:06:56

Hi Paulosgirl. I managed a team for 18 months working 3 days per week. The person before me and the person who took over from me were both full time!
I encouraged my team to self-sufficient and made it clear what their responsibilities where when I wasn't there. I would give them all a weekly plan with targets for the team so they knew what they were working towards which worked well.
At the same time, I spelled out to my boss how much time everything did take. I listed everything I should have been doing and how long this would take and compared this with the time I actually had. In this way, my boss was totally clear on the fact that help was needed. I said I was happy doing it on my own as long as she understood that I can't do everything all the time.
At the same time, I think I just learned to make everything I did as efficient as possible so it took much less time than colleagues.
It wasn't easy at all, but after 18 months, I had an excellent team who worked together on their own if problems came up, they worked out solutions and implemented these without the need for me to do it all for them. It has definately increased the skills/experience of most people in the team.
Hope that helps a little bit

bluebear Tue 24-May-05 21:12:40

I manage a team of 5 full timers - I work 4 days a week (have weds off) although I did work 3 days a week for a while ..I agree with Starsky - you have to be quite strict with guidelines for what you expect your team to achieve on the time that you aren't there..but this will lead to them being better able to 'manage themselves' even when you are there.
I do weekly targets and allocate work load on Mondays, then review on Thurs in time to make any adjustments before the week's end..I have trained most of the team myself so I know that they do things 'my way'. My staff change teams every 9 months but I generally find within a couple of months they know what is expected of them and work well together.

It's a shame about your deputy - in what ways is she making life hard - is she still trying to run the team herself?

paolosgirl Tue 24-May-05 21:38:30

Thanks for all the advice! My deputy is making things very hard - making all kinds of decisions (major, as well as minor things) when I'm not there, things that 'couldn't wait' til I get back have to be dealt with. She gets involved in all sorts of things that I don't know about, I'm forever chasing her for things I'd asked her to do.
It's bascially undermining me - and I know exactly what she is up to! I feel like I'm forever having to challenge her, then I get the showdown and the cold shoulder. My manager is aware of the situation, and I've been asked to keep file notes, but I'm feeling pretty low - and I'm sure that if I was a better manager, then I wouldn't have this problem.

tillykins Tue 24-May-05 21:42:14

what a pain in the arse
its not your management, its her being childish

I find one tactic is to ask for clarification - so when it couldn't wait, say "what would have happened if it had waited?" so she has to speak the worst case scenario

Is there anyone for her to go to if you aren't there?

paolosgirl Tue 24-May-05 21:53:45

Yes - another manager has been nominated to deal with any issues that arise. She's great - we have a v. good working relationship, and she'll have no hesitation in telling her to wait til I get back.
I'm pretty sure it is just my deputy being childish, and yet when you have this day in, day out, you start to doubt yourself. She makes it patently obvious that I have no authority in her eyes, so it is a constant battle to reassure her that actually, whether she likes it or not, I am the boss! All these silly games are wearing me down, frankly.

darlingbud Tue 24-May-05 21:55:08

Can you make it known to her that you will have to reconsider he position as deputy and consider someone else who can follow directions and respect your authority?

What is it you do?

paolosgirl Tue 24-May-05 22:00:32

No, sadly. I work in the NHS (not front line). I can't fire her unless it is for gross misconduct - and that's not going to happen. All that is open to me is the disciplinary route - and I've a feeling that is not too far away.

tillykins Tue 24-May-05 22:07:51

Don't play Paolo's girl, I know its hard not to but don't get into it
so if she makes a decision that should have been yours, ask her to clarify why she did, then tell her the action she should have taken (waited for you, gone to another supervisor etc) and document it
if she does something similar, raise this incident - she will get bored really soon, I am sure
It might be worth while meeting with her - say to her one morning that you would like to see her at 11.30 - just long enough for her to wonder why but not long enough to strategise. then sit with her and say you feel she is having trouble working for you and that is having a detrimental effect on the department (she will then think everyone is complaining about her!!!) and doesn't give her the professional image she deserves (bite your tongue, you can do it) then ask her how the two of you can resolve it

and keep telling yourself that you don't have to reassure her you are the boss, she has to convince you she is the deputy and not a wet behind the ears trainee

I don't think its your hours that are an issue, from the sounds of it, I think you have a petulant member of staff who needs to demonstrate her ability to do her job in an adult manner! So there!!!

bluebear Tue 24-May-05 22:23:56

I couldn't have put it better than Tillykins!

(I'm NHS too - our Trust is getting tougher on performance issues, with a lot of support from personnel for managing this sort of thing - could you speak to a personnel officer about it - just to get guidelines on the disciplinary requirements (although hopefully you won't need to go down the formal disciplinary route).

MizZan Wed 25-May-05 15:09:03

paolosgirl, don't know if this will help but I can share my experience. I managed a small team (work in private sector btw) full time, then went down to 4 days a week and still managed it ok, then went down to 1/2 time and it was just clear that I couldn't fulfill the management part of my responsibilities effectively enough to suit myself or others either. are you working 4 days? if less than that, it might be worth considering going back up to 4 if you can, to keep your hand in a little better. must say my colleagues were generally very supportive but you do have to let some things go that you would have decided on or controlled yourself previously, if you want it to work. I agree that making everyone's responsibilities (incl. your own) crystal clear is the way to make it successful, and if someone is not completely on side, then see what it is they need to get them on side (more money? more recognition? more direct responsibility?) - after all you need their support as much as they need your management, if it's all going to work effectively. On the other hand if someone's just trying to undermine you, and you're 100% sure that's the case, then it's worth confronting them about what the underlying issue is.

runtus Thu 26-May-05 08:41:46

Just wanted to add that I have a similar member of staff but in a very different situation and I totally understand how the undermining and constant checking your back can get very tiring. I recently re-hired our ex-Sales Director (who left about 2 years ago to go to another company) as a Salesman and ever since I have rued the day!

This guy used to be a good friend and nice bloke but ever since he left his wife (for his childhood sweetheart no less!) and came back here he has made my life a living hell. He undermines me constantly, sends group emails 'discussing' our latest initiatives (all mine) and 'if' they are really working, hiw he thinks we could do it better and basically trying to point out he knows better than me.

One thing I would say about your situation that differs from mine though, is the amount of backup you seem to be getting from colleagues and superiors. I constantly get made to feel like I'm beibng paranoid (when I KNOW what he is up to)and not backed up in situations that are blantly him haveing a dig..........stick with it and document everything is what i would say. Don't let the b****s grind you down!

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