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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 10595
Experience:  17 years experience
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Leadership issue: I work as a private nursery manager and lead

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Leadership issue: I work as a private nursery manager and lead a team of 20 staff members. I have a very good relationship with all of them and they really appreciate the way I care for them and make them feel happy to come to work. However my director feel that I should not be on their side and be much stricter when it comes to imposing extra workload which everyone would agree to say it is unfair (except for him because he is not there to see what goes on). He does not care if they are more stressed or become demotivated. He is not there to evaluate the impact of his orders on staff. He believes I should just be tough and threaten them that when we will need to reduce numbers, we will first keep the ones who comply to such request.
I know if I do that, I'll get very strong reactions and the whole team will rebell. I tried to explain that to him and asked if i voukd give some kind of immediate reward ( small bonus) just to make the person concerned feel she is not being taken advantaged of. He said I should just tell the person it is her privilege to have been chosen for that extra work and then keep praising her generously (the way he would do it I would call that hypocritically). Everything is running very smoothly like a duck on water otherwise. These extra demands are rare so I can't even tell them next time someone else will do it. But i feel his whole approach is wrong anyway. And I still believe that the request was not fair in first place. Am I lacking assertiveness with staff or am I a caring manager who wants the best atmosphere for their staff?Ps: staff are constantly dealing directly with "customers" and bad moods will undoubtedly lead to bad representation and then bad reputation. But the director thinks that whoever reacts this way should be fired. My aim is to build true happiness in them so they are sincerely XXXXX XXXXX dealing with patents and children. I am more than happy to hear that I have to change my way if you think so but I want your expert advise to make sure I am doing the right thing. Thanks

Buachaill : 1. At the outset, you seem to be doing quite a good job managing the staff of 20 employees. There is and adage that we all get promoted to your level of incompetence. I would view this director's remarks in this light, as he appears to have little affinity with staff members and to view flouting the law in relation to staff harassment and bullying in order to impose his iron will on the situation. So, give the remarks of the director a deaf ear. Simply carry on as usual and refer the director to the need to employ additional staff if additional work is required as staff are already working at maximum output. ULtimately, be aware that this director does not regard the staff as being the problem, but you, as he is seeking to make unreasonable demands of you, albeit indirectly, by getting you to mistreat your staff. So fight your corner! Be aware that if staff become demotivated and complaints rise, your name will be the first in the firing line.
Buachaill : 2. In terms of employment legislation, you need to realise that hours worked are governed by the employment contract. So if you want to get a worker to work longer,then you have to pay them more. Additionally, should a worker resign due to excessive demands placed on them, this will be viewed as unfair dismissal, so compensation will be due. So just realise this director has been promoted to his level of incompetence!
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Customer: He wants me to bully staff and then catch up the mess by giving lots of praises rhat people will feel manipulated by. He said I should do a management course to learn how to deal with challenging staff. Knowing he knew I had done a formal management course, I felt very offended. Also he makes many mistakes in wages and is very not clear about it. Staff get very upset obviously but he does not want to speak to them and wants me to brush up everything under the carpet with little explanation. Legally he is doing fine but staff were very puzzled to the drastic change in their pay. I am seriously considering leaving as I am not a commercial person, I can't make hypocritical comment or cover up messes. I am an honest and sincere manager who is appreciated by everyone at work. According to your experience Do you think I will encounter such directorial issues every where and therefore i should cope with the stress and frustration or should try and seek a better employer. Thanks for your help, it was very pertinent.
Buachaill : 3. You will not encounter such directorial issues everywhere. This is a problem specific to this particular individual and I would not let it colour your view of the world at large. Some people just have an abusive nature. This man has such an approach. However, you should just recognise it and work around him. You need to realise that he is like this to everyone. MOving jobs will simply present a different set of challenges. So here, you should simply plot out a way in which you ignore and make clear this man's behaviour to the people who work for you.
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