Have you ever had an experience where you start to realize that some people you work with have the attitude of "Us" vs "Them" rather than "We" work as a team? I don't really want to go into details, but I think I may have had a wake-up call yesterday. I am a supervisor and I always thought that my team and I got along pretty well and that we worked as a team. Yesterday I found out that one of my team members has not been communicating with me about something about our working environment. She did, however, talk with my boss about it... I found out when my boss (the pastor) came to talk with me. I don't think she started the conversation with my boss, but she still should have talked to me about it a long time ago rather than just stewing in hard feelings!
I find this kind of situation very frustrating! I can't make people talk to me. However, when we are supposed to be working as a team we need good communication! This team member has very strong opinions (that don't always match mine) so I have struggled for a while with figuring out if she's stewing about a difference of opinion I already know about or if it's something else. I never thought, though, that she would go over my head without talking to me! Uuggh.
How would you handle a situation like this? I have told my team so many times that if they have a concern they should talk to me about it. When they do come talk to me I try to be a good listener and address any issues that are problematic for them. Most of the time we are able to resolve any issues in a way that everyone is satisfied. What else can I do? Are there any other supervisors out there? How do you encourage your staff to communicate with you about things, even if they disagree with what you are doing/thinking (or what they think you are doing/thinking)?
Currently I have monthly staff meetings and I try to check in with the staff individually in a casual way. We have an annual review system in place, but I haven't been meeting formally with my staff individually outside of those annual reviews. Maybe I need to start meeting with each person regularly in a more formal setting?? I haven't done this because 3 out of the 5 members of my team really dislike coming in for their annual review. I thought the formality of the meetings was what made them stressed about their annuals. However, maybe a more formal setting will help bring up more issues?? I don't know. Any suggestions you have would be welcome!
I am also trying to think of someone in RL I know who is a good supervisor who can give me advice. It's hard, though, because most of the supervisory examples I can think of have their own glaring weaknesses. I know nobody is perfect, but I would like to be thought of as a good supervisor... Should I come up with some kind of eval that my staff can fill out on me? We talk about their evals every year and work on their strengths and weaknesses... My boss does my eval, but he doesn't really see me in action very often. Maybe I need to get more personal feedback from my staff?? I think a supervisor eval would be unprecedented at my church...
OK. I think I am just rambling at this point. If you have any suggestions for me, please share! In the meantime I might try to go back to sleep for a while. I only got 4 hours before a "bathroom break" got extended by my overactive brain... Thanks in advance for your help!