Magazine article Supervisory Management

Neglecting Staffers: A Worst-Case Scenario

Magazine article Supervisory Management

Neglecting Staffers: A Worst-Case Scenario

Article excerpt

Sometimes with reorganizations, the best decisions aren't made the first time, and there are more transfers and reorganizations--until it's no longer a question of "How many people work for me?" but "Who works for me?"

"Staff of the Week"?

If you find yourself in a "staff of the week" situation, you may be tempted to start giving people more autonomy so that you don't have to start working with them closely only to lose them in the next reorganization. And, after all, as long as they know what they're doing and they get their work done, there shouldn't be any problem, right?

Well, that may not be quite the case. In fact, you could wind up letting an employee slip through the cracks in a way you never thought possible.

Stranger than Fiction

Elizabeth Fried, a management consultant and author of Outrageous Conduct: Bizarre Behavior at Work, a kaleidoscope of strange stories, available through SHRM (1-800-444-5006), presents the true story of Krista Reed, a rather ordinary clerk who blended into the woodwork a little too well. In Fried's case study, called "The Glitch That Lost Krista," we find Chas, who has created the reorganization program for his company, quite pleased with how well his plans have worked until he gets a call from one of the managers after sending out performance review reminders. The manager tells Chas that Krista's name shouldn't be on his list because "she doesn't work for me since we reorganized." Not only that, he doesn't know who she does work for.

Chas begins his search for Krista, checking with several supervisors but with no luck. Some have not even heard of her. He tries to find Krista through the payroll records but she has direct deposit; he calls her at home but gets no answer.

Frustrated, Chas decides to have lunch in the company cafeteria instead of his usual lunch at his desk. …

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