Today’s reader note is a toughie. What do you do when it doesn’t look like anyone is supporting you?
I have been a nurse for 32 years. I’m being harassed by a new manager reporting false allegations against me. I think he has an instant dislike for me. I have been intimidated by HR, harassed previously by my director, and now given a formal final disciplinary warning. This is my first warning in 32 years. Management is not helping me.
Like I said, this is a tough situation. We don’t know what allegations the manager has made. We don’t know if HR conducted an investigation and what they found (or didn’t find). So, it’s hard to give this reader any kind of specific suggestions. There are a couple of things we can do.
First, we’ve published in the past a couple of articles about HR and investigations.
We’ve also talked about management regarding progressive discipline and suspensions.
But the post I want to direct you to is this one:
I don’t know who is right or wrong in this situation. We just don’t have enough information. What I do know is that this reader feels they’re doing all the right things, but they’re getting disciplined, and they’re not happy about it. At some point, you have to ask yourself, “Is this the kind of organization I want to work for?”
If the answer is “yes”, then figure out how to keep your job. Go to your manager and tell them, “Hey – I really enjoy working here. What do I need to do to improve my performance?” Be prepared to listen. Your manager should be able to tell you where they feel your performance isn’t meeting the standard. If they can’t, then ask yourself the question again, “Is this the type of manager I want to work for?”
And if the answer is “no”, then figure out how you can go someplace where your skills will be appreciated. I get it. Looking for a new opportunity is time-consuming, a little scary, and it can be more than a little frustrating. But the reward is going to a work environment without “managers making false accusations”, “intimidation by HR”, and “harassment”. The reward is being able to focus on your work, not management, and building positive relationships with others.
I wish I had a neat and tidy response to issues like these. But sometimes they just don’t exist. Employees have to decide, based on the situation and their career goals, what option works best for them. I can say it’s important that employees really think through what they want because that often sheds light on the answer they’re looking for.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after attending the WorkHuman Conference in Austin, TX10