Sometimes, managers deliberately and consciously take actions that while logical, create situations that are non-productive and hugely demotivating. Unfortunately, this is more usual than not. In fact, this was the very topic of a one of my regular The Globe & Mail columns back in November 2014 titled Why do smart managers do stupid things?
I continue to see examples of this dysfunctional behaviour repeatedly in my leadership development practice. Last week I had a very positive conversation with a group of leaders in one of my client organizations, but it reminded me of this very negative situation that I came across (and blogged about) back in 2016. In fact, it stirred up such dialogue in this group that I felt it was worth bringing up in the blog again.
I got a call from an employee at a large client company, very upset because his manager had blocked his internal transfer. This organization has an online internal job bulletin board that permits employees to apply for internal jobs within the company. This particular employee had, with his manager’s knowledge, applied for a job in another department. Since he has been in his current role for over three years, he was seeking different challenges and new learning opportunities. The interview process went well and he was optimistic about getting this new assignment. Imagine his surprise to learn that he did not get the job because his manager had blocked the transfer. Turns out that there had been some other recent unexpected personnel changes in the department, and his manager felt that his move would be too much change, too fast. Continue reading