Hostile Work Environment – Unqualified Managers and Precedence
What makes a good manager? Is it someone who ensures that you have the tools to do your job? Is it someone who only approves your time card? It really comes down to working relationship. Office humor put aside, the best manager is someone who full-fills the employee’s needs to perform their tasks or duty. It really depends on the situation and culture. I might want a manager who has complete hands off while I perform antivirus updates. I might want a manager who micromanages my time card and ensures that I’m complaint. Where it all breaks down and the shit hits the fan is when a manager is not qualified and tries to make decisions that would go contrary to the employee’s best advice.
When the product or service requires a manager to understand the technical aspects, it’s best to have a manager who came from that field. Too often, this is not the case. We may receive managers, who needed a job or cover, into the position and their discipline fails them. A good manager will quickly understand the products specs or service details. They may ask the senior engineer or technician their input and let that guide the process. In my world, I’ve seen it not be this way. Let’s talk about the unqualified manager and precedence.
Precedence is defined as, “the condition of being considered more important than someone or something else; priority in importance, order, or rank.” In this case, it’s common sense.
When a manager is not qualified and not seek good advice, they tend to make decisions that negatively affect the employees. We’ve discussed the scenario before where a system administrator wanted admin rights on a server or network that he didn’t own. The employee gets the rights and once the community finds out, management thinks it’s a good idea to manage this. They quickly want status on everyone’s admin rights and who does not have it. They will create an entire jobs program out of admin rights to a system we don’t own. There will be the weekly meetings because emails aren’t good enough. There will be homemade spreadsheets tracking who does not have admin. Performance reviews will be negatively impacted because we don’t have admin rights to a system that we’re not responsible for. All of a sudden, there is precedence placed on this non-required requirement that should never have been. This is all due to the fucking manager who has no fucking clue what he or she is doing. Not only does the manager push this process, against the wishes of the employees, senior management will think it’s a great idea to track it and report it at a corporate level. It’ll eventually make it into some policy that was never peer reviewed by the true holders. Now eat that shit!
Ever ask why we do a process and the source for it? Ever get the answer, “It’s always been that way?” This is the same bad milk from the fridge. Managers who are unqualified cannot answer why we do things a certain way. Before long, this unspoken tribal knowledge makes its way into an office policy document and now you’re fucked. There is no going back. Who cares about streamlining? It’s a jobs program.