I just started a new job 3 months ago as a team lead of a completely new small team of new people that are also new in the company. Everybody else in the company has been here for several years and they all love it but me and my team are having hard time adjusting to the new reality we’re facing. It’s hard for me personally to stay motivated and it’s even harder to keep my team motivated that everything’s going to be better.
Let me try to summarize:
Lack of procedures and any documentation - they don’t document anything, if you want to know what is considered the right way to do something here, you ask someone who’s been there longer. Different people say different things when asked the same question. I tried to be proactive and suggested writing those definitions and procedures for my team and any new people as long as we all sit together and agree on it but nobody agreed.
If I ask why something is done in way X, I often get answers "because we do it this way!". I am being very careful not to criticize anything and don't ever suggest changing it, I just ask a question if there is a reason for this to be done in a certain way (because it's often not the way recommended by best practises).
The work we’re hired to do is not ready to be started yet. Turns out we’re months away from starting it (and this was not communicated on the interview process). My team is given some work nobody wants to do and at the beginning I was happy we can at least start building team spirit and get used to working together. But actually what happens is that everyone keeps repeating to me personally and each of my team member how unimportant this piece of work is and it doesn’t matter. Even if this is true this being said once or twice is enough, being repeated every single day you’re doing work that’s considered practically useless can break even the most optimistic spirit.
We’re all being treated as the new people who know nothing. While this is true for company-specific stuff (but we’re catching up) none of my team members is unexperienced in our field of work. I have several years experience as a team lead and many more in general, same is valid for my team members. We’re all treated as if we have no past beyond this company and know nothing. While I agree they should be careful with work new people do, me and my team are being treated as potential troublemakers who can break anything they touch and in my previous jobs I haven’t even treated interns this way! I am very puzzled why I am hired at all if somebody thinks I’m incapable of doing my job.
I tried to raise my concerns with my manager directly and he only says that we’re being new and too worried if we’re doing good on a new job. I tried explaining that this is not the case and we just want to feel useful and capable not to proof ourselves but to be able to do what we’re hired to do and have confidence for ourselves but seems like nobody outside my team sees this as a problem.
Questions: How do I communicate better the situation with management or should I just wait for this to pass? Is there a way to keep better motivation in my team in this situation?