When Plans Are Made Without You, the Manager
When people can choose between different projects, there are usually two types of employees:
- Want to work on various projects because they find it exhilarating working on something new
- Prefer to remain on the project(s) he/she is on because they see the work necessary or like the team, they are on
A company should work on understanding what their employees on and help them feel heard, appreciated, and supported. Leadership should never make decisions without consulting employees because it negates any sense of them feeling like the company supports them. It’s even worse when they speak to employees about the project changes without letting the employees’ manager know. What is a manager to do, especially when it’s apparent that the company’s leadership won’t listen to her as well?
Document How You Feel About the Situation
Send an email that details how your concerns. I learned this lesson when I had an HR Manager said in a meeting that I was okay with the decision to move someone from a project that he wanted to remain being a part of. I responded to this stretch of the actual truth, but I realized that it’s best to have it written in an email so that no one can say, “She’s fine with it.” I have seen on YouTube and social media that people now know it as “receipts.” Make sure that you have them because you will probably need them.
Confide in Someone
Talk to your mentor or a peer (preferably not someone you work with) who can give you advice on what to do next. I had lunch with a good friend whom I respect tremendously. She was shocked when I told her what happened, and she told me what she would do in the same situation.
It helped to have someone be a sounding board to see if:
- The situation is not as bad as I thought
- Useful advice on what you should do
- Understand how other companies handle scenarios that I find myself in
Before you write an email or talk to someone, calm down. When you are upset, disappointed, or whatever emotion you are feeling, you can forget that at work, you have to maintain a level of professionalism. Give it a day or two when you feel like you are not as emotional about the situation, and then write your email or talk to someone. If you do write an email, it’s also good advice to leave it in draft mode for a few hours, so when you come back to it, you can edit when you are even calmer.
Get Involved in Making Organizational Changes
Start getting involved in strategic projects and groups that are working on making positive changes in the organization. You might not help the employee going through it at the current moment. Still, you can help all the employees in the organization not deal with this in the future. Leadership is much more willing to listen to you if they see that you are trying to help the organization reach its goals and make positive changes that will boost employee retention.
Periodically Check In With Employees
Even if an employee is not under you, this doesn’t mean that you can’t check in with them from time-to-time to see if he/she still wants to come back to the project. When you have an opening or the project the employee is on is ending, you know of the employee’s situation, and then you can bring them back.
No company is perfect, so you have to be part of the positive change. If you feel after a few months that no one is listening to you, then maybe you might rethink the company you are at and start polishing your resume. However, I believe that people want to help their companies achieve success, so try and help them make valuable changes. In this way, you can help them change and also learn a thing or two at the same time.