My direct line manager joined our workforce about 9 months ago. He inherited a lot of stress and problems. As a team we were very excited when he started as our last manager had been lovely but poor at management, and the owner of the company was (and is) somewhat volatile and uncoordinated.
He did ask us about any concerns we had quite near the beginning. I gave him a document of my main concerns for the business. There was a lot more I was concerned about but I was worried it might overwhelm him. As it was I didn’t really get any feedback other than ‘thanks’ and I assumed that he had a lot of work to go through and assess so I should wait till he asked for more information.
As time has gone on the owner of the business has heaped extra work on him. He has accepted this extra work and there’s nothing my team can do about it as the majority of this work is for a seperate business.
The staff have been under stress since before he came and one or two have ‘cracked’ under pressure and gone into his office for long rants or meltdowns. Some staff have quit. Again, I can imagine how stressful this is.
However, our manager very quickly looked to pass blame on. We are a very hard working team who did incredibly well in an unstructured environment with policies and protocols changing weekly and received no recognition from the business owner. We continued to work hard when this new manager started, but rather than being commended or managed, we were left to our own devices. Until an individual went to the manager about a grievance and then the manager would come at us like a ton of bricks, without asking for ‘our side of the story.’
This is now happening regularly. The manager is blowing up at us, making accusations with no foundation, generally saying vague things (“I ask you to do things and you don’t do them!” But not specifying what) and has referenced formal warnings and firings without giving any specifics why.
He’s also told us multiple times: ‘come to me if you don’t like me, or have a problem with me!’ But there is no confidence in me that reporting him to himself will make a difference in his behaviour.
Of course, when unreasonable comments or decisions are made the staff are remarking on these privately to each other at break times. We are very stressed and trying to make sense of things. We’re not speaking about him on a personal level but in the context of the business and our instructions etc. He’s either aware of this or is paranoid about this as we’ve been warned about insubordination and bullying.
Multiple attempts have been made to discuss ongoing issues in the business, generally we are ignored unless one of us ‘cracks’ and then the rest are attacked for whatever the trigger reason was.
We’ve been told to talk to him anytime but he’s hardly ever in the building and our workload is so tight we’re barely keeping on top of things. Also, I personally would expect to get shouted at if I approached him. We were promised appraisals but haven’t had any. There is no HR - he is the HR. Since that first request for info I have never once been asked for my opinion on why there’s so much stress/problems or invited for a discussion.
I don’t think I can stay in this environment but in the meantime, how can I handle this? Should I confront him and say that I find his management aggressive? Should I ask to schedule a meeting (all recent ones have been 95% him ranting and 5% anyone else trying to get a word in). Should I use my free time to write another document about all the issues since my work won’t allow me time for that? Should I stop all discussions about work with other staff if there’s any negativity they might come up?
If you read this far, thank you!