Managing Managers is Hard Work

So often we in the learning and performance field focus management development training on managers managing the performance of staff in general, and yet managers often have managers on their list of staff.  Should a manager manage the performance of a manager differently than they would a non-manager?

I want to explore the reality that managers are regular employees, but are also subjected to a higher standard of performance.  There are a lot of assumptions made on both sides that can lead to some interesting developments if not acknowledged.

I ran across a manager recently that was sharing his thoughts on something he noticed his assistant manager doing, but was unsure if it was a regular or one time activity. 

It seems that this assistant manager is very skilled at their job, but is not someone who can always be counted on to be on the job.  The manager noticed that whenever there is a holiday, especially coupled with a weekend, that the assistant is often getting sick days before, and “drags themself” into work the day before the holiday time begins and often must leave early.  Then the illness becomes full-blown during the holiday, which prevents them from returning the following day.  Over this past Christmas holiday, this person was out of work 5 days and only clocked a single sick day.

The manager feels like he is being taken advantage of, and at the same time cannot prove any of his concerns because he has not documented any of this over the past year.  I suggested that he begin a log this year and if something shows itself he moves to a corrective action discussion.

However, he can’t see this as necessary, “because a manager shouldn’t pull this kind of stunt!”  Well if we are holding managers to a higher standard this may be true of the expectation, but it doesn’t make any difference when you are dealing with a performance issue.

Because I see this conversation going in a couple of directions, I’d like to hear what you are feeling so far.  Where do you sit on managing managers?  What is similar, or different?  Depending on what readers are thinking, I will come back to this topic later in the year and move in the direction you are headed.

Speak up and share your thoughts…………


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