Submitted by Afro Boy on
I have a peer manager who often takes the credit for successes other staff members have achieved and it is starting to become an issue my and their own staff.
[b]A little background...[/b]
This person (let's call them Jane) and I both report to the same manager and we are in the same (technical) department and therefore peers.
Recently, one of my staff members was managing a project of which Jane was the sponsor. My staff member ended up really driving this project, undertaking the majority of the work (along with other team members) and saw it through to completion.
Now that it is ready to be launched to the business, Jane appears to be going out of her way to avoid mentioning any names and giving credit where I believe it is due. The launch email itself mentions and thanks no-one for the great success of this project. Another example; on the user guide developed by my staff member, we placed "Prepared by: Person Name" at the bottom of the cover sheet (which we do with all our documents.) Jane asked for this to be removed.
Even though it's small, it has a big effect on my staff member and other staff in the department who know the work put into this project.
My "skip" manager (upwards that is), knows who has been working on this and is aware of most of what is happening here and agrees that credit should be given where credit is due.
[b]What to do?[/b]
Is there any advice out there on how I might approach Jane and our manager on this? I feel that something needs to be said and some corrective action needs to occur. Jane is very defensive and will always defend when someone tries to discuss an alternative approach to her.
It's a difficult and demoralising situation. It is one thing being recognised for your work by your own manager, but another thing when you are given kudos and promoted to the rest of the organisation for your contribution.
The part that I key in on - Jane's actions are detrimental to the organization and Jane would be defensive if challenged on her actions.
What I think of is that you'll never convince Jane there is a problem. You can only help her discover it for herself. Given that she is your peer, I'm not sure that helping her discover is even your place. Your personal concern is about her (negative) contribution to the corporate culture and the negative effect her actions may have on your future resources. Its up to your boss to correct Jane.
Focus on what is important to you. If some of your directs were involved with the project, make sure they know that you and everyone up the chain of command are very aware of who did the work. If some of those who aren't your directs might work on a project of yours someday, you might give them some positive feedback to try to improve their future performance. And, you might talk to Jane about trying to understand the future effects of her actions. I'm thinking the approach I would use is to ask her for help in understanding what the effects will be. Gently question her answers and get her to recognize the issue.
Hope this helps clarify your thinking.
Peer manager who doesn't give out the love ...
Give Jane feedback. Use the feedback model for peers, which is the normal feedback model, EXCEPT for eliminating step 4.
"Here's what happens...."
I'd do this whenever she engaged in these behaviors. If she continued the same thing three times, and in addition responded with less than professional respect and aplomb, or IN ANY WAY was dismissive, on the third try, I'd include in my impact statement, "I get the impression you don't give a damn, and that makes me think I need to take these instances and the fact that I've talked to you to the boss."
The detail and specificity of the previous three situations will go a long way if you do have to go to the boss... and I'd recommend doing so if she won't stop.