At my workplace, I have several co-workers who, along with myself, are managed by two team leads (we'll call them John and Pat). Above them is our overall manager (we'll call him Rob).

I've repeatedly had issues with the management from John and Pat and have repeatedly met with Rob to explain my frustrations with John and Pat. However, Rob's responses always play down or ignore John's and Pat's deficiencies and ultimately nothing changes.

I'm trying to be creative about how I communicate my issues to Rob. Since a qualitative approach hasn't worked (e.g., "John provided little oversight on this project and when he did his communication was confusing and contradictory"), I want to try a quantitative approach.

I've devised a set of quantitative features such as "social awareness" or "technical skill" and I've ranked everyone on my team on a scale of 1 to 100, on these features, including John, Pat, and myself. I feel I've been very honest in my rankings.

I plan to present this to Rob as a more quantitative way to express my point that John and Pat are unfit for their positions and that Rob needs to respond more seriously to their deficiencies.

Is this unprofessional? Is it a good idea?

EDIT: Thanks everyone for your responses. To qualify, the objective of this exercise is to illuminate areas where growth is required. I understand how it can be perceived as 'throwing someone under the bus', but I play a pivotal role in this team where my performance (and those who rely on me) are hindered daily by John and Pat's weaknesses. The wall I cannot seem to break through is favoritism and personal friendship that may be clouding Rob's judgement. All qualitative expressions are dismissed as one-offs or some promise to encourage John or Pat to improve. Ultimately the responsibility of productivity rests with Rob, but I feel that I have to do, and communicate, all that I can to underscore the profundity of these issues.

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    Your previous attempts (direct communication) did not bear and fruit - why do you think abstracting those will be helpful? Jul 5, 2019 at 14:18
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    So you essentially want to tell Rob that he put multiple people in charge who are unfit for their positions ( meaning Rob is unfit to properly evaluate people )?
    – sf02
    Jul 5, 2019 at 14:18
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    A lot of people make the mistake that getting heard will result in the changes they want. Rob heard you, but he chose to not implement the changes you want. (If you ask a question, be prepared the answer may be a: "no".)
    – Pieter B
    Jul 5, 2019 at 14:45
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    I normally would expect "quantitative" to be some objective measurement system or factual data, not someone's opinion
    – cdkMoose
    Jul 5, 2019 at 15:12
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    So your idea of a quantitative approach is a ranking system based on your opinion? Why have you taken it upon yourself to be the arbiter of who is and isn't good at their job? "Hey Boss, everyone is horrible at their job except me."
    – joeqwerty
    Jul 5, 2019 at 16:06

6 Answers 6


To me this sounds like a very unprofessional idea, even petty to be honest. You've already expressed your concerns and your manager is not willing to take action.

As long as their 'deficiencies' do not hamper your workflow. Try to ignore it. Their job is not yours. However, if it does prevent you from doing your job, document everything. And answer truthfully why work wasn't done by showing said documentation.

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    +1 Concentrate on getting your own job done. Track any blockages, but in terms of resources not people: "The code I needed for X was not available on time." Jul 5, 2019 at 15:23

All you're really proving is that you're ready and willing to down-talk your colleagues and blame them for projects failing.

This might or might not be the case, but this is the impression you're giving. You're throwing your colleagues under a bus. In quantifying your assessment of them, all you're changing is the order in which you'll push them to the kerb.

When you're performing post mortems on projects, one thing you don't do is name names. You describe what has and hasn't worked and work on the problems, not the people.

If you do want to address people problems, then talk to the people themselves - or at least lead conversations in a more positive manner and show supportive leadership (even if you're not in a formally leading role).

Otherwise, you might find you'll gain a name for blame and you'll end up being resented.

As the saying goes - don't bring problems to your manager, bring solutions.


Yes, your behavior is very unprofessional.

You are trying your best to get two of your superiors fired and you are judging your teammates in ways you are not entitled to and without being asked for such a judgment.

Appraising employees is the job of their superiors. Trying to give your behavior a professional look by phrasing your personal and subjective opinions about your coworkers as numbers is just making it worse. I would recommend you to destroy that ranking sheet you made before someone sees it. Most people who would see such an unsolicited performance rating from their coworker would likely feel offended by it. Anyone you rated that way would be completely justified to report you to HR for creating a hostile work environment.

If you want to report a serious infraction or insufficiency of someone in your workplace to your superiors (and it's always a big if, because it might often cause more harm than good to throw people under the bus), stick to explaining what happened and leave the judgment to the superiors, just like you already did. You can not use a quantitative approach here, because social skills can not be objectively quantified. And it is insolent to claim that you are able to.


You have not produced a quantitative solution, you're scoring your subjective opinions with arbitrary numbers. Playing this off as a "quantitative" answer has a good chance of making you look bad aside from the other reasons mentioned in the other answers: chief of which is that you're smack-talking your colleagues.

Its possible your manager not only trusts the leads, but favors them over you. You don't give a lot of reason why you have issues with them, but you should honestly evaluate your manager's position to be sure that he's not in the right. If you still think he's wrong and you can't live with the status quo, then you may need to be ready for nothing to change.

  • I'd add the "old approach" does not sound very "qualitative" either, unless that portion was lost in the way OP summarized it. Jul 10, 2019 at 11:21

Sorry, but I'm going to post a kinda-mean answer: are you sure this isn't an issue on your dynamics with the team leads?

The reason I'm asking is, you don't just have a problem with a single team lead - you have problems with them both. And not just that, but your manager seems to feel they're doing an okay job. Plus, well... you're asking the appropriateness of giving numeric rankings of their coworkers - unasked! - to present to the boss in order to try to spur on corrective action... which isn't something that indicates a good grasp of office interaction.

If I were in your shoes, I'd:

  • Take a deep, long look at how to improve the working situation with both team leads. Ask them for constructive criticism on what you could do better. And spend some time thinking over if there's any nuggets that you can use to self-improve. This is true even if you're absolutely right and the team leads are rubbish and the boss is a blind idiot - there's still no reason you can't improve yourself.
  • Mentally take stock of what your expectations are of a lead, and whether those expectations need to be changed. Because, it might be that you've got a different assumption of a team lead than your boss. Because it varies from group to group and place to place. Some places, a team lead is a technical font of knowledge; some, they're a people person who acts as a group's glue; some, they're a logistics person streamlining how tasks get done.

... because I have a feeling at least 50% of what's going on is firmly on your side of the fence. Maybe I'm wrong. But if I'm not... you're not going to "fix" this situation with the direction you're going.

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    Best answer here. I laughed when I read that OP had rated his coworkers on “social awareness”.
    – Jim Clay
    Jul 6, 2019 at 12:09

Your example is illustrative:

"John provided little oversight on this project and when he did his communication was confusing and contradictory".

If a manager gave this review to an employee, the employee would be upset at how general and vague the feedback is. The feedback must be specific and actionable. You can learn from this as well.

What specific oversight did you need? How did you communicate with John to request additional support? How did John respond to that request? What was the consequence to the project due to missing oversight? How did you recover from the missing support?

What was the confusing communication? How did you seek clarification? How did John respond to your attempts to clarify? Can you be specific about how John could have avoided the confusion?

As you work through questions like this, you may discover that the issue that you perceive goes away as you take ownership for the relationship with John. After all, if you ask 5 days in a row for clarification on the due-date of a task, John will start including the due-date on the first email or ticket.

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