I have a colleague who's great when it comes to talking but is actually not very good in the work he does. This guy has the support of the management and is ready to do whatever it takes to make his team and himself more successful even if this means stepping over other people in the company. We don't work for the same market but we need to exchange team members and he wants the best people.

I found out that he was playing dirty, talking with the team members privately and trying to convince them to join his team. I'm OK with them going in another team, so long as this is their will, but convincing them behind my back I consider unethical.

Should I start gathering info about his actual achievements and have my homework done and then go to the management (this actually means office war) or should I talk to the guy and try to smooth the situation. Or should I do something else?

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    I would remove your picture/full name if you want to keep this private. – user29055 Mar 10 '16 at 14:29
  • Welcome to the site Shirley. We can't really tell you what to do. We can provide help/insight into how you should do something, so to clarify: your end goal is to get him to stop recruiting from the shadows? Is this because you actually lose the people he's talking to (i.e. they're currently on your team) or are these "free agents" in the organisation? – Lilienthal Mar 10 '16 at 14:40
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    @Shirley It sounds like you already know that management wouldn't appreciate one person causing the company to excel in one area by hurting it in another, so it sounds like you already know what to do. – user41761 Mar 10 '16 at 15:19
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    @JoeStrazzere "Dirty" and "unethical" is my view also. Not business as usual anywhere I have worked. Other companies go after good employees yes. – paparazzo Mar 10 '16 at 16:15
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    @JoeStrazzere Can we agree my statement is pretty clear and there is no purpose to debate it. – paparazzo Mar 10 '16 at 16:20

Sue for peace, but prepare for war

  1. Start a paper trail immediately
  2. Ask management about a "hypothetical" situation and what they think a good course of action would be
  3. Gather the information on what he's pulling.
  4. Speak to your individual team members and make it known that you care about their development first and foremost.
  5. Make it known to your team members that there will be absolutely no repercussions for switching teams, but you would appreciate it if they kept you in the loop.
  6. Increase the "soft benefits" in your group. Buy everyone coffee or donuts.

All of this will buttress your position and make his dirty pool harder to pull. Happy people won't leave you, and keeping a paper trail will keep him in line. He sounds smart enough to look for trouble elsewhere if he thinks you're keeping tabs on him, and if he isn't, you can go to management with all of your documentation.

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    @Shirley. YW. Remember, you never want to play the game your opponent is best at. Don't try to get dirty with him, stay clean. He's probably not expecting that. – Old_Lamplighter Mar 10 '16 at 15:06
  • Include positive points too, like how you think it's important to help grow the skills and careers of the teammates, but don't agree that his growth strategy has the company collective interests in mind, or the best path for the individuals – Baronz Mar 10 '16 at 16:37
  • While your co-worker has his best interests in mind, gathering all the rock stars onto one team is not in your company's best interest. Gather information and take this up. Who approves transfers? That person needs to know this is going on and why and they need to make sure the teams stay balanced. – Bill Leeper Mar 10 '16 at 16:46

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