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To hate being a manager

5 replies

HelplessProcrastinator · 14/05/2021 11:52

I have been in the same NHS job for 14 years on the same grade. In the last few years due to other staff leaving I have taken on responsibility for their roles and they have been replaced at lower grades. I now manage 3 perm and a temp at the moment. I suffer from anxiety anyway and I hate the responsibility for ensuring the output from the team and ensuring their well-being. Our department is very complex and I was never trained myself and just figured it out so I don’t have a basis for working out how to train them. I didn’t have proper hand overs from staff leaving and constantly feel like I am winging it and having to explain to others makes me feel very exposed.

Having said all this my team seem very happy and my manager and the rest of the department are happy so it’s working well enough. I’m exhausted and anxious and when I raise my workload with my manager she just tells me to delegate more, she seems to think I should be grateful for having a team to help me. I haven’t had an appraisal since I don’t know when. Jobs are limited where we live and my self esteem is low so not sure about getting another job.

Does anyone else feel this way or have some advice on how to improve my confidence in managing staff?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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maxelly · 14/05/2021 14:32

I feel for you, I work in HR and so spend all day talking to people about how to be a good manager and actually I don't much like doing it myself Blush Grin, it's the fact of being responsible for other people like you say, trying to strike the balance of supporting them enough but also not micro-managing/interfering - plus I don't know about you but even though my team are great there is always, always some drama, this person is having domestic trouble and needs to be supported, that one wants a promotion and needs to be challenged/developed, this one's having trouble with X client and needs help to sort it, it never ends!

What helps me and what I advise the managers I work with, is to make sure you have the basics in place, by that I mean good structures and routines, monthly team meetings, weekly 'catch-ups', regular 1-1s - all this keeps good communication in place and reassures your team they can always talk to you and raise things with you plus should mean you catch any issues early. You wouldn't believe how many managers simply don't even bother to do the basics! I try and set aside about an hour a day purely for 'management stuff', answering queries from my team, checking in with them, helping them out with any problems, giving them feedback/praise/thanks, explaining tasks/projects I want them to do, as well as the more regular meetings I mention above - it sounds a lot and doesn't always 100% happen but I view a really large part of my job as being to manage, so protecting my team time is important to me.

Also, re the training, what specifically do they want/need to be trained on and what are you finding hard about doing that? When we think of/talk about training we tend to think about going to sit in a classroom and taking exams etc., but for the majority of work-related things the best way to learn is by doing - like you say that's how you learnt yourself. So if it's processes/procedures they need to be trained on, I wouldn't even try to get them all together in a formal group setting (far too hard to arrange), I'd get them one by one to sit with me or whoever does the task (virtually if need be) and first just talk through it, let them watch it being done and ask questions, then the next one they do themselves under your supervision, then they do it independently but with a quality control check when it's finished, then they fully do it themselves, then they 'train' the next person to do it until all the team is competent. You can also ask someone who is trained/aware of what needs to happen to write up a Standard Operating Procedure/guidance document on that task (doesn't have to be hugely elaborate, just bullet points or a flow chart or similar) which will make it easier for the next person to pick up and understand...

Finally if your team are happy and your manager's happy it sounds like you are doing a great job and need to cut yourself some slack! I know the frantic feeling you're never doing enough very well, but sometimes good enough is good enough, IFYSWIM Flowers


GhoulWithADragonTattoo · 14/05/2021 14:37

Don’t the NHS have training courses about management? I went on lots of training when I first became a manager and it improved my confidence no end. Alternatively find a more experienced manager you like and ask if will mentor you.


JudgeJ · 14/05/2021 14:48


Don’t the NHS have training courses about management? I went on lots of training when I first became a manager and it improved my confidence no end. Alternatively find a more experienced manager you like and ask if will mentor you.

I can't speak about the NHS but when I went into a management role in a large High School there was no training, especially for internally promoted candidates. When I mentioned this the Senior Management seemed surprised that it should even be considered. Sink or Swim seemed to be the way forward!

tracker222 · 14/05/2021 14:57

@maxelly I'm HR too and feel exactly the same. I hate being a manager but spend much of my time coaching other managers in how to manage people.


Dogfan · 14/05/2021 15:14

It doesn't sound as though your line manager is very good and that is part of the problem. I actually like managing and I think think best thing to do is 1) approach your line manager and tell them what you need (regular 1:1s, training, shadowing etc), set up meetings in tour LM's calendar - you have to drive this forward. 2) maybe buy some books about management - there are loads on amazon. 3) set up 1:1s with your team and find out how they feel - what is going well / badly, what training needs do they have, what ambitions do they have and how do you help them get there.

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