Saturday, February 21, 2009

I am turning into the boss-from-hell

I work in a high-end firm in our sector. We would cost on average 25% more than our competitors. We can charge more because we have quite high standards when it comes to the work we let leave our building. Recently we have had a relatively high employee churn. Some of the experience has left the building across all levels of seniority.

I manage a small team of relatively inexperienced consultants. I spend a lot of time with them showing them the basics. I send them projects from the archives that may relate to what they are working on (or things that may be useful in the future). When they are working on new things, I point them in the direction of old projects that tried to tackle the same issue, or dealt in the same category. I will also encourage them to go and talk to others in the organisation that may be able to help. I am also trying to instill in them a strong sense of basic project management; basic things like organisation and naming of files on the shared drive, how to communicate with clients, keeping on top of suppliers etc.

Maybe I am too impatient (I know I am becoming increasingly this way), but if I show them how to do something I have an expectation that they will pick it up straight away. I don’t mind maybe one more explanation or walk-through. But I am so frustrated right now at how little they appear to be picking the basics up, or willing to take responsibility for aspects of their projects. These are smart people, with degrees, on relatively high salaries. They are not graduates – most have been in the industry for three or four years. Two of them have told me they are not “details” people – which makes me want to scream. The time I spend with them explaining things takes away from my ability to drive business (I am responsible for our group meeting a financial target) and do the other consulting work I am expected to do. I have to fit a lot of my own work in after hours. Sometimes they feel like a team of hungry little birds, demanding and swarking but not giving anything back in return. I find myself now just doing something myself instead of asking them and showing them how, because work appears to keep coming back that is sloppy, or contains errors, or is just plain lazy. This was OK for 12 months – I had an expectation that they needed time to settle in and learn the things that they needed to do for the types of projects we work on, an the types of clients we work with. But now I have no patience – it just feels lazy and sloppy now. Before I would spend time explaining what needed to be fixed and why, now I just send it back with a message “fix it”. I feel like I am turning into the boss-from-hell, but to be honest it feels better to be this way than keep cleaning up after them and working 12 or more hour days five times a week.

No comments:

Post a Comment