I am a team leader* of 3 teams in a quite big company (about 1500 employees around the world and about 300 in my office, the headquarter).
Recently I was asked to add a person (call them X) to one of my teams. The history of X is troubled and I am a bit concerned. A few months ago X went to the HR accusing a manager (call them M) of harassment. After a brief investigation, the HR fired M, but:
- X went directly to the HR, bypassing the internal procedure and the chain of command
- The investigation and the people involved should have been remained confidential, whereas in the office (and in other offices, even abroad) everyone knows the fact, the people involved and the outcome
- The nature of the accusation should also have been remained confidential, but again this information is public domain
- We don’t know if the accusations were true or not: M was fired but M also received a huge amount of money upon their dismissal (in this case, a big part of the document with the agreement was leaked to the public by an unknown source). X does not received any compensation
- X was removed from the original team
X was proposed to 3 other team leaders, all refused to add X: all have put forward technical/technological reasons, but the real motivation is this story. They had only a single gap to fill in their teams, so it was easy to refuse, but in one of my teams I have 4 gaps.
I am concerned because I see the first step (going directly to the HR bypassing the internal procedure and the chain of command) as a potential sign of anarchy, disrespect for the superiors and allergy to the rules. In addition, some team members told me that they are very uncomfortable to work with someone so keen to contact HR. Whereas other team leaders told me they have the real fear to be falsely accused or to be involved in HR investigations based on accusation by X (one team leader said he is 100% sure that now that X found how to get a manager fired, X will use this power for their own advantage every time X needs).
Are my concerns valid? Am I right to be worried about adding such a person in one of my teams? Are concerns from other team leaders real?
*= A small note: I'm a team leader not a manager. I coordinate all technical/technological aspects of IT projects. I take part to all communications between the teams and the clients, I do interviews to candidate for my teams (and my opinion is, usually, binding), I can move people among my teams, I usually define the project roadmap, I can propose employees for promotions/rises. I cannot hire, fire or discipline employees, I cannot move an employee to teams I'm not leading, I cannot sign contracts, I cannot take employees from other teams, I do not have control on project economics/financials, I cannot promote an employee or give them a rise.
After about 10 days from the request to add X to my team (period during which I simply waited and tried to avoid making a decision) I've decided to not decide: today I wrote to my manager asking him to decide if I have to try to let X enter or not. He took time in turn and told me he will organized in the following weeks a meeting with HR to discuss this topic. I'll update this question with relevant outcomes
Update: After more than a week, my manager informed me that the meeting with HR was unproductive, so he decided to wait for his boss's decision. In the meanwhile X was transferred from their office to a single office in another building where there are no people from our division (this decision came directly from upper management). I filled 2 of the 4 gaps in my team (an internal transfer and a new hire that will begin soon).
Update 2: today I was informed by my manager that his boss and the HR had decided to arrange an interview with me, my manager and X for next week (yet to be scheduled). Some team members wrote an email to me and my manager repeating their discomfort to work with X
Update 3 (
final update): No interview will take place, yesterday an email from HR informed that X resigned and is returning to their home country: in agreement with the company, X will not serve the notice period. Strange enough this email: HR has never announced a resignation as in this case, especially addressing the email to 60+ people (including the member of my team). But I think this is a very special case. I think I dodged a very big bullet.
Real final update: M has been hired back as soon as X left the company. M invited a lot of people (including me) to a small party next week to celebrate their re-join.