The higher-ups want us to cut a worker's hours by 12 (28 hours a week). No amount of reasoning will change their mind, so how do we handle this situation?
posted by artisticastronaut to Work & Money (15 answers total)
This is in America, 4 people are involved here:
A: The director of the region
B: The head of the local branch, who reports to A
C: (Me) The head of a department at the local branch, who reports to B
D: The worker grunt, who reports to C
We are a business that has a sales department and department which builds the advertisements for the sales department. With the economy, sales are down and have been down throughout the year. Still, we've kept D, who builds most of the ads, employed despite obviously less work. D has spent that time learning new technologies for the web, so B and C feel the slow time has been well spent. As you can tell, D is a valued employee, works hard, contributes and is well liked in the office.
Word has come done from A that we have to cut D's hours, from 40 to 28. D will still be able to keep benefits and any accrued vacation time, but will lose about $500 a month in pay, on an already tight salary. B and C has thought of various scenarios to not have this happen, but all have been shot down, even if it's just a matter of selling ONE more ad a week. The issue doesn't seem to be one of making more money, but rather cutting expenses, with a firm eye on the bottom line. Note that we won't lose money this year, we'll just make a smaller profit.
Let me repeat, not cutting D's hours is not an option, sheer reasoning doesn't work, the corporation as a whole wants to cut expenses and has picked those who build ads as one way to do this. They've made this cuts throughout the company, we're one of the last hold outs.
B has been quietly pressured about this since the beginning of the year and resisted, but now it's coming to a head, as B has relayed to C (me) this past week what's going to happen and that it's probably going to happen this coming week.
Questions, concerning D:
Whats the best way to tell this to D? Obviously the general tone is one of sorrow, as it's a matter of the economy and hey, you still get to keep benefits, etc, etc. I've thought of a new schedule for D that would give them time off during the week to pursue freelance work and give them more time with their spouse and we're trying to give a month's notice before the change in salary kicks in, but is there anything else you can think of doing that will dull this impact or baring that smooth it over so that D isn't too angry and resentful?
D is a bit of a drama queen and oversharer, so this bound to be taken hard, a huge crying scene is expected, but we're ok with that, because hey, it totally fucking sucks, D has a right to be upset and fume, but we can't have it impact the work long term.
Questions, concerning C (me):
I've known about this for a week now and I'm finding it hard to act normal knowing that I'm about to hurt another human being and that there isn't much I can do to prevent it, even as hear how D and the spouse have decided to splurge on X, because hey, it's been a while since they've done that. This may well cost D her house and almost certainly will cost the generally good daily working relationship we have (D and I work in one room). How do people deal with these sort of stresses, both as a manager and as a human being?