I work in healthcare administration and have a lot of clinical experience (about 15 years). My team has 2 new graduates and one person (I will call her Emma) with some experience (a couple of years).

Our previous boss would favor Emma. He would make up rules on the spot and enforce them inconsistently. He quit about 6 months ago when upper management became aware of these practices.

The new boss does not have a background in our Healthcare field. Emma has been taking advantage of this, and feeding him suggestions which he simply carries out.

As a result, tasks are being ignored and staff is not available on call when they should be. My suggestions are ignored despite my experience. This chaos came to a head a few weeks ago when no one was available on a weekend. Inquiries from other departments were dismissed as well.

The situation has got worse as Emma's attitude has spread to the rest of the team, and nobody is being held responsible for their actions. I have spoken to my coworkers, but I am being countermanded by Emma, and thus I am ignored.

What steps should I take to restore order to this group?

  • 4
    @Betty33 This group is a bit clinical in it's approach. In order to answer, we need to know the relevant details. I understand your frustrations, but your question needs to be phrased in such a way that we can address your concerns. We cannot help you with the attitudes or actions of coworkers, but we can help you strategize. If you edit your post as per Monica's suggestions, we will likely be able to help you. Nobody is giving you a hard time, only offering suggestions to you so that we can understand your situation and give you the proper advice. May 8, 2017 at 13:18
  • 2
    @Betty33 Richard and I have edited your question in turn to try to get you the help you need. I know you have announced that you won't be coming here any more, but in case you changed your mind and are reading this, note that we are here to help people, but if you make it difficult to understand what help you need, it is difficult for us to help you. Please try making your posts conform to this site's rules, you will get answers faster that way.
    – Masked Man
    May 8, 2017 at 17:44
  • Possible duplicate of How to handle demoralization caused by a slacker in the team?
    – gnat
    May 9, 2017 at 6:07

1 Answer 1


My approach would be to put your concerns in writing to your boss (via email or similar) and offer to help - but be sure to highlight the situations that need fixing, not the people (or their actions):

Hi boss,

I've noticed over the last few weeks that our team hasn't really been doing x, y and z tasks as we used to, and there's been a few gaps in making sure people are on call - is there anything I can do to help fix this and get us back up to speed? I'm more than happy to meet up and chat about it if that would help as well!

As per the comment, you may wish to add a few details of why the tasks are important - but be careful not to sound like you want to trump your boss because you have more experience than him.

There's a few possible responses to this:

  • Your boss takes you up on it, you can sit down and talk things through, and he implements them;
  • As above, but he doesn't like your suggestions and keeps things as they are;
  • He disregards the email or simply says "no thanks", in so many words.

If it's #1, great. If it's one of the others, you have the potential option of raising your concerns in a more structured manner to his boss, which may well be effective in achieving something (especially if you give details of everything that's been missed that should have been done.) However, that's always a risky move to take, as a) it may not achieve anything, and b) your current boss / team will find out and likely resent you for it.

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    Given that the new boss doesn't have a health background, and those tasks aren't being done because of suggestions by Emma, I think it might help to put in the message why they are important. Otherwise the answer might just be "yes but Emma told me those tasks aren't neccesary, so that's why we stopped."
    – Erik
    May 9, 2017 at 5:34

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