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I've tried to make this concise as possible so please bear with me.

This is related to my earlier question (Employee barely working due to Mental Health issues), in which the summary is:

  • In March 2020, our company started to mandate all employees to work from home.
  • Team Hierarchy: Director > Manager > Team Lead (Me) > Engineer
  • I noticed a reporting member barely works because of her mental health issue (as she has claimed).
  • I eventually raised this to my Immediate Manager and Director in November 2020 via a Detailed Email.
  • Turns out, this has been a recurring issue since October 2020.
  • It was agreed by the Director and Manager that they will put the Engineer under a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

However, after that email, this issue was not sorted out immediately.

February 2021

  • From November 2020 until February 2021, no action has been taken and I had to follow up numerous times in order for it to progress.
  • By mid-February, my Manager provided a excel file to the Engineer, consisting of just a two-column table that said: Goals and Remarks.
  • Even the email to the Engineer was extremely short. It literally just said: "Here is the employee goals and current feedback on those goals" .
  • I told my Manager separately that the excel file might not be a formal PIP document, to which he insisted: "this was what we used with employee X and Y before when they were on PIP".
  • Manager, the Engineer, and myself had a (non-recorded) call on those goals. Manager didn't mention anything during the call indicating any consequence (i.e. possible termination) if goals were not met.
  • It was also not clearly indicated in the call and emails about the time-frame of the PIP.
  • Manager told he will be the one to communicate the discussed details over to HR.
  • I continued monitored the Engineer's progress (i.e. provided coaching, daily calls, ect), also kept Manager and Director in the loop on progress.
  • I expected that the Manager has formally filed the PIP to HR, but whenever I ask for an update, the doesn't give a clear answer.

May 2021

  • The engineer somewhat improved, but still didn't pass the acceptable level, and during the performance evaluation, she got a "Needs Improvement" as her final rating.
  • Asked Manager what's the status of the PIP, to which he gave a confusing and unclear response.
  • Asked Engineer if Manager has spoken to her, to which she responded "No, not since the call last February 2021".
  • Felt that this issue wasn't being taken seriously, since it's been more than three months and Manager still hasn't talked to the Engineer (and me) about the status of the PIP.

June 2021

  • Director has asked me the status of the PIP, to which I said, "I don't know with Manager, I'm sure if it has been filed formally with HR".
  • Director set a call between Me, the Manager and herself, and we found out that the Manager didn't formally file the PIP with HR.
  • Also found out Manager didn't have any written documentation of the PIP and it's possible consequences.
  • I spoke up, saying that it should've been filed formally, with written documentation, and i feared that we will be lose the PIP by default because of it.
  • Manager responded "we don't do that here, we just send the excel sheet and we will be the ones to do the PIP. the one sent back in February is enough."
  • I found his response ridiculous. after the call, I consulted with HR and they confirmed that it needs to be formally documented based on Labor Laws, with clearly defined metrics.
  • I communicated this over to the Manager, to which he responded: "This is not my first time to put an Engineer under PIP", and still insisted he was right.
  • After much debate, I suggested that we get on a call with HR to clarify things. HR again re-affired that it should've been documented, the Goals were not S.M.A.R.T. enough.
  • Turns out, the previous employees Manager has put under PIP just outright resigned when presented with a PIP.

Now, since there was no written documentation on the consequences to meet the Goals, the Engineer cannot be terminated and we will have to repeat the whole PIP process again.

I have been thinking of bringing this up to our Director because:

  • This July 2021, I have been promoted to Manager, and I think I would be inheriting this PIP issue, which would've been avoided if the Manager followed the protocol.
  • I have been working closely with this Engineer and she has been extremely difficult to work with (i.e. numerous excuses, providing false progress, etc.). Because of the "voided" PIP, I'll have to continue working with her, and it's even possible that she'll getting off from being terminated.
  • I felt extremely insulted when Manager kept insisting his way rather than going through the obviously correct process of involving HR.
  • This performance and behavioral issue has been going on for more than 8 months and we're back to square one. If I didn't remind the Manager, this wouldn't even progress.
  • This manager has a reputation of not really managing people properly. He hasn't been talking to his reportees (ever).
  • I felt I have wasted so much effort on this PIP issue and I want them to know that he is ineffective as a Manager.
  • Honestly, I'm still infuriated and a part of me wants him to get some sort of sanction or reprimand.

With the above detail stated, Is it proper to escalate my Manager's inaction to our Director, and what are the risks involved with me bringing this up?

The overall outcome I want to happen is that this won't happen again and upper management be aware of his ineffectivity as a Manager.

P.S. Director is from another country (Singapore), while all the rest are in the Philippines.

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  • 3
    It's unclear what outcome you're after here. Looks like you're angry and want to do something, and that's understandable, but being professional means putting that to the side and determining what constructive outcomes can be aimed for. Jul 5 at 11:14
  • @GregoryCurrie i am admittedly still a bit angry about it, but the overall outcome i want is for upper management to be aware of his ineffective "my way goes" management style. If he only followed protocol, we would've avoided all these rework.
    – AWOra
    Jul 5 at 11:17
  • Maybe a constructive interpretation of what you said is that you want to avoid this happening again? Jul 5 at 11:19
  • @GregoryCurrie yes most definitely
    – AWOra
    Jul 5 at 11:19
  • 2
    I haven't voted but at least three people agreed with Gregory's comment that your goal is unclear, which is a common reason for down voting. (I think it's also longer than it really needs to be but that's probably not a big deal.)
    – BSMP
    Jul 7 at 8:47
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It doesn't make any sense to "escalate" the situation. It would have been suitable when you were impacted and the Director could have intervened. But as it stands, there is nothing the Director can do here to resolve the situation.

As is always the case, if a peer is acting contrary to company policy and/or to the determinant to the company, it is suitable to take that up with your manager, who is now the Director.

But, unlike escalation, this is more of a courtesy to your manager, and they can take action as they see fit. Given that the director has already expressed some interest in the issue, it may be suitable to document what exactly occurred in order to set the record straight.

Obviously you will need to make a decision if it's worth potentially sullying your relationship with your old manager, given that there is unclear upside.

In addition, you would have to be careful of office politics. It's possible that the director and the manager in question both see eye-to-eye on this issue, and you'd be alienating yourself.

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