I recently took over a bigger office and half of my team were recently hired right before I got here. And I also have a new boss now. This location has been struggling for the past few years with production, and my upper management would like me to improve production. This is the fifth location I’m managing, and every location I take over is always underperforming. Once I get in, my team turns the office into the most profitable and successful location in the company.
I’m realizing that the new employees that have only been for less than 4-5months are not liking what’s happening with the changes. I’m starting to hold all accountable for actions and results. I already issued couple of them disciplinary actions for things like not using time sheet properly. After multiple reminders - HR advised with proceeding with disciplinary action.
I’m now noticing that the new employees has formed a clique and I can tell they’re engaged in gossip, by only speaking with each other or only in their language.
One tells me that I’m micromanaging, breathing down her neck, yelling, miserable at work etc. I asked to give me an example and the example was when I asked this employee to answer the phone - I think she has a very different perceptions of yelling. It looks like she is taking any form of criticism as yelling. She continues to not stay informed or not answer the phone when it rings after reminding multiple times or when with customer always distracted with their cell phones or something that is not related to their work. Now they can no longer be on their cell phone all day long.
Couldn’t give me an example of breathing down her neck or being watched. But she says I don’t take lunch or breaks. They really shouldn’t be worrying about if I take my lunch or not. I believe she thinks she is being watched because they’re always on the lookout to see where I am or what I’m doing.
Another employee tells me similar things about micromanaging (I can tell that they’re teaming up with the complaints) But this employee continues to ignore what I’m asking him to do. Insubordination issues.
I know I can be direct. So, I examined the situation as objectively as possible. I also put myself in their shoes and I resists the urge to deny it without looking at the situation to learn why the employees may perceive my management as micromanaging. I also observed if the issue lies with micromanagement or the employees who simply do not like working under a manager. I also tried comparing my management style with other managers and supervisors I’ve had in the past, to determine whether I am managing more stringently or in a more involved fashion - setting expectations and following up if not completed.
I also think that discipline and accountability hurt. I can see that they just had a certain amount of freedom that wasn’t being wielded in a way that necessarily supports the mission of the company. Other employees that may not be involved in this clique is recognizing what’s going on and adapting; I believe complaining of micromanaging is because they no longer have the same freedom to do whatever they wanted to do.
I’m also looking at metrics since micromanaging complaint increasing, but performance with other employees are also increasing, maybe complaint is simply a reaction to greater accountability.
I have been keeping HR and my new boss updated with what’s going on. My boss tells me that they’re ganging up and I’m doing great and to keep everything documented. And he says he will assess the situation over the couple of months by getting HR involved and to feel them out.
I believe these employees complained about me. My boss wanted me to be off one of the day this week so he can visit the location and I guess observe and speak with them. But I thought it was awkward him asking me to be off instead of him just showing up. But everyone has different management style and maybe this is one of his strategies. Once again, this manager is new to me and he doesn’t say I’m doing anything wrong. I even asked him what can I do differently or to change my management style - he says change nothing.
But at the same time I think I’m overthinking, I haven’t had a situation where half of the team teams up and complain together.
What are your thoughts or suggestions to me to improve my management style?