Before we begin, I'd like to say 3 things:
- I understand that respect is earned, not bought
- I'm in Bali, the work culture may very well be different
- I'm not a foreigner relative to my workplace
So here's the problem: I'm originally brought in as non-management person, but now I'm being promoted to management. The employees don't respect me enough to do what I say, which is a problem because I need to control our product quality which is going down a bit, we're risking losing customers.
They're giving me excuses which they didn't give to the previous manager (she's promoted). It's not a problem so long as the previous manager is available to go down and talk to them directly, but this isn't healthy in the long run. In fact, I believe that a certain employee thinks he can push me around, he kept making statements that implies he doesn't agree with me and won't do what I say. At some point he asserted that he will not work overtime no matter what happens. This did happen with the previous manager but at least he'd listen to her for other things.
I don't have "friends" per se that can help me to bridge the gap. I'm not sure what to do, trying to threaten them with previous manager will only destroy any legitimacy I should have, and if something dire happens when she's not around I won't be able to do anything. Trying to iron fist this will not work if they won't do what I say anyway, and will only bring more problems like pushing them to revolt.
I will say honestly that I'm not exactly amazing with arguing. I couldn't come up with good comebacks quickly enough (not witty one liners, I mean actual arguments for discussion) which shuts me down quickly. I believe this is one of the factors that put me in this situation.
What can I do at this point?