October 24, 2012 10:21 AM Subscribe
As a supervisor, what can I do to help my assistant feel more needed or is it a lost cause? Lots of snowflakiness inside.
posted by singinginmychains to Work & Money (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A little over a year ago, I moved into a higher position at the institution I was already working at. The tasks of the job were very different and I was given the task of supervising one part-time employee. My predecessor in this position was less technologically inclined and took longer to complete certain projects, and so this part-time employee was taken on during her tenure to assist with various office tasks.
I'm sure you can see where this is going: I complete tasks at a much faster pace, and so I am not passing things off to the assistant. I have worked to create new projects for her and to increase her workload. The truth of the matter is that in most, if not all, respects, her position is obsolete despite the tasks I have added. Most of the tasks given to her since I have been here have been at the expense of my own position.
In the past year, I have tried to convey this to my supervisor as well as to the HR office about three times. Each time, the stance has been that the position should be maintained (people are rarely "let go" here, as that is always seen as a last resort -- thankfully). However, the financial state of this institution is not very good. We are facing salary cuts and increases to our health insurance premiums (which are to occur simultaneously).
On the one hand, perhaps it is time to eliminate the position. It is possible that she could move into another office to work, but I am not sure of the likelihood of this. On the other hand, she is a person who relies heavily on the tuition benefit this job affords her (half off tuition for her children, one of which is currently a college freshman).
This is my first time in the role of supervisor, and I am really struggling with what to do. Any advice, MeFites?