If you (hypothetically) had a contractor whose Contract Manager was given Management responsibilities in your company and they turned out to have the interpersonal skills of halitosis, what would you do?

"A friend" has a contractor whose Contract Manager is like a bull in a china shop - He is always right in his mind, he cannot communicate with his team, or with the other memebers of my Management Team (sorry - I meant "my friends Management Team") ONe-to-ones seems ineffective with this man - he takes the "I don't work for your company" attitude.

SO far as "my firend" can see the only way is to request his removal from the contract - which seems defeatist!

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I don't understand, because:

a) we're not real fond of hypotheticals here
b) I can't figure out the relationships because of the friend concept.


Greenest's picture

OK - to clarify.

I have a department where all staff are actually contractors, none are real directs. The Contract Manager for the contractor had zero interpersonal skills and alienated both his client (me) and many of his directs. To confuse matters many of his directs were formerly my directs who subsequently transferred contracts.


I had no direct control over the person in question, though did have a degree of control over the contract under which he worked.

Why the past tense?

He left today - had the hump (big time) - wasn't speaking to me when he left!!

Today I am no the manager of all his directs and have direct input into the contract company.

Can anyone see another way out, that I could have used other than forcing him to leave??

arc1's picture

Is the core issue here the problem of how to manage feedback etc. when the person is not a permanent employee and in fact is quite disengaged from your company's needs etc.?

I've seen a bit of this where departments or functions are outsourced, and people find themselves in day-to-day working relationships with contractors whose primary loyalty is to a vendor, not the company they're embedded in.

Main thing for me in those situations is that feedback can be directed at the company vs. the individual. Somewhere in your organisation there must be a point of escalation who is genuinely internal (ie. it's part of their job to care whether or not the service being provided by the contractor is good); maybe the right solution is to take the concerns to that level, and have the feedback provided above the individual's help - ie. here is our view of what your representative is doing, here's what's going to happen if it doesn't improve, here's what I'd expect you to do about it.

I'm not 100% sure this is on point - still finding the background a bit confusing, but I hope that's of some assistance.

Cheers, Chris

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

As someone who is frequently the contractor, call me and give me the feedback. I need to know if the service I provide isn't meeting your needs. Because I want your business. If my representative isn't working for you, call me before you fire us. :)

So, if the contractor isn't working, call his boss. You're doing them a favor.

ccleveland's picture

I am having a lot of trouble understanding this.

Part of it seems to be language/colloquialisms that I'm not grasping: What does "had the hump" mean? When the contract manager "left" you mean left your office, left the contract, left the company?

Also, I still don't get what the real problem is. It sounds like you are concerned about the behavior of the Contract Manger. You're considering trying to fix it versus trying to eliminate him from the contract. Is this correct? What is the impact of his behavior to your organization?

Finally, you said you have a "degree of control" over the contract. What does that mean? Who at your organization is responsible for managing the contract? Is this person involved?

My boss manages a support contract where we have technical staff "reporting" to various locations throughout the U.S. While the contractors don't officially report to the site managers, their relationship is very close to a "direct report". In the past we have had to work through personnel issues that seem similar to yours. Preferably, negative behaviors can be eliminated. Occasionally, individuals are removed from the account. It usually all works out best when handled professionally with LOTS of communication between us and the service provider.


Greenest's picture

The Contract Manager left the account and....
..... was the best thing he ever did! My workload has halved. I have a better working relationship from all his directs, who are now my "directs" though technically they are still contractors. All his staff have said "What did he do, because he did nothing for me!"

It's great. Previously I couldnt get O3s with his directs, now they ask me when the next one is (even though it is in their calendars). He used to scupper my attempts to change working methods, now? I have half the office working on GTD with the other half becoming more interested. In short? Half the workload AND twice the productivity - that is within 1 month!!!!