Submitted by Ross_b1 on
Sorry if this sounds as if I am throwing my toys out of the pram but I need some advice on how to talk to my manager about some decisions she has made that will be bad for the department.
I came in to the department as an assistant manager and just sat back taking in as much as I could for the first 2 months (I hadn't heard about the 90 day rule at the time).
During this time I noticed a lot of things that could be changed to make the department run smoother most of which I have implemented over the last year.
The main one was setting up a general email account for that queries could be sent to as all blocked order queries were sent to anyone and everyone in the department and as a result no one knew who should be looking at them and resolving them.
With the introduction of this mail box address I suggested that 1 person should look after these queries but allow anyone in the department to have access in case cover was needed.
This system had been working well for 5 months but during the last month staffing issues (holidays, sickness etc) led to these queries not being resolved as quickly as I would have liked them to be resulting in the sales department contacting the manager asking why there is a delay.
I have now found out that even though she has access to this mail box her response was to tell the sales department to email her directly instead.
Obviously I am a little annoyed that firstly that after 1 blip this system has now gone back to the old way which had even bigger delays and secondly that I wasn't told about this until the sales department asked me what the delay was with the manger releasing the orders.
I have spoken to her about this but she seem to think that we don't need to record these issues, I disagree as the main complaint against our department is the time it takes for these queries to be resolved.
I just need some advise on what to do now because I know that the queries are just going to pile up in her in-box as they did before I arrived. I also know that any delay even though the mails are going to her will be turned around as a problem that I will have to deal with.
Confronting the manager
Can you convince your manager to make sure emails get into the general in box and copies forwarded as necessary?
Umbrella time: I like to look through rose tinted glasses. Asking a complainer to email direct to a manger rather than a general in-box shows that the manger is concerned and wants to make sure that complainer is treated correctly. Complainers tend to like it as it shows that their complaint is being taken seriously.
Recording issues. You are absolutely correct. Offer to help by registering those issues. Perhaps put a rule in to copy any email from the complainer to the managers in-box. Then the manager gets the email and you get to action the issues. The manager can let the complainer know that they see every one of the complainers emails.
Confronting the manager
Thanks for the reply. I agree about the complaints issue going to the manager's mail box but this is just sales wanting to make a sale.
I work in the credit control department of an electrical goods manufacturer, and the issue is to do with releasing sales orders when they have been held due to customers not paying, being over credit limits etc.
To be honest the accounts are in a complete mess as the manager just lets anything go without checking why it was on hold in the first place. I prefer to treat the cash as if it’s my own and see why the problem arose and try and get it resolved. Sales usually aren’t too bothered if the customer has paid as they get a commission when the sales orders goes through rather than when it is actually sold (when we get the money in).
Anyway, sales complained that we took to long to get orders released. I aim for a response to their email with in the working day, but during this period the response was usually the following day. Not a big deal as they can take over a week to respond to price queries I raise, but never mind.
Now a week after telling the sales team to email her directly I have now been told by the manager that I am going to have to resolve these issues again!! If I had any hair I would be tearing it out by now as this again makes our department look unprofessional.
Very tempted to tell her that as she wanted them she can keep them, but just remember Mike’s quote “the truth will set you free” so I know that’s a bad idea.
Just wondering how to be able to get things back to the old (correct) way…Sorry just needed to get it.
Confronting the manager
In your position, I would meet with the manager to agree the strategy to resolve the issue. You need 100% buy-in without blaming her for exasperating the issue. Ho w about an internal charter where you set out exactly what process your department will follow and how you measure it (good for the resume as well)? Your general in-box is part of a broader process, a more powerful entity that your manager may respect more. Having a more transparent process (by publishing it) also enables others to understand and hold your department accountable if needs be.
Your manager may buy in more if this is presented as a response to her concerns that will enable her to monitor the department’s performance more easily.