What can an organization do when it's best employees disengage?
February 2, 2014 6:28 PM Subscribe
I work for a large government agency where the "management cadre" is separate from the "professional cadre." Top- level professionals make as much or more than managers, at least up to the middle levels. More and more people are deciding to stay in their professional or "field" jobs, so managers are now coming from outside, with little substantive experience, and get overwhelmed almost immediately. When they founder, as is more often the case, there are few ambitious people under them looking for an opportunity to shine by taking on extra responsibilities, so they just keep chewing up the scenery. The fact that it is next to impossible to fire anyone at any level for any reason means there is little incentive for anyone to change, and the crappy economy means nobody wants to let go of a good salary, not to mention a great pension. Lather, rinse, repeat. Have you ever been part of this dynamic, and if so, how did you handle it? Have you ever seen an organization dig itself out once the situation got to that point? What constructive actions can the professionals in this scenario take, short of taking on responsibilities that don't belong to them ( and that they don't have the authority to carry out anyway)?
posted by rpfields to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Full disclosure: I am closer to the professionals in this scenario than management, although I do run a small team. Luckily, we are project-oriented, and so protected from the worst of it by very clear goals and reporting lines. However, I am worried about what is going to happen when--and if-- I want or need to leave my little pond. From what I see when I am forced t look out, the agency is starting to bear the hallmarks of a "sick system."