Why Am I Not Getting Any Respect?

by Evil HR Lady on October 27, 2010

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I have an employee who is 11 years older than I am and he thinks he knows more than and is more qualified than I am. He ignores my requests, won’t cc me on e-mails and doesn’t provide me with information about what he’s working on. I’ve tried meeting, talking, and sending him e-mails, but nothing seems to work with this silly man. What do I do?

Why Am I Not Getting Any Respect?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

The Plaid Cow October 27, 2010 at 11:57 am

Please note that the bnet link is currently broken.

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Evil HR Lady October 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Thank you! I fixed it.

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Hope October 27, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I understand exactly what you mean when you say that you are not respected. I am also in an work environment where my employees think that my age reflects my character and motivation to learn. But in order to change opinions and mindframes, I had to sit down and explain myself to my fellow co-workers and manager and issues have gotten better.

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Byron J. October 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm

I agree with Hope. If you have had these meetings where it is a serious, straight-forward meeting and there is still no change in his behavior I believe that some sort of disciplinary action should be taken to let him know that you mean business. That may be the only thing he understands and respects…authority in action!

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Charles October 28, 2010 at 4:32 am

all good suggestions; but to add another thing – this "manager" needs to change his/her attitude; for starters don't refer to an employee as a "silly man."

With such an unprofessional attitude is it really anyone wonder he ignores you?

He might just be wondering how long the new manager will last before he gets one who is more respectful of employees.

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Laura Shotts October 29, 2010 at 3:59 am

I agree with Charles by saying that the manager should not refer to an employee as a "silly man," that only makes her look immature and maybe she doesn't have his respect for a reason. Respect is something that has to be earned, if he is doing this for no reason at all, then disciplinary action may need to be taken.

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FatBigot October 29, 2010 at 11:09 am

It could be that a Liberal Arts graduate has been placed in charge of an engineer. There will be no point in the engineer cc'ing the manager in on issues that the manager will only be clueless about. Typical Dilbert scenario. The contempt is well deserved.

The broader problem is this HR attitude is that you do not need to know about widgets to manage a widget company. As a manager your need to know what people are NOT telling you, perhaps because your reports are reluctant to give bad news. You have to sniff out trends, problems and opportunities before anyone else. Also your task is to assess competing demands for resources, and to assess competing risks that are presented. Often there is no substitute for expert knowledge of the business details when making these decisions.

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Angie choles November 2, 2010 at 3:31 am

Perhaps you can give him a warning that if he continues his bad behavior and disrespect that he will be fired. If he does not heed this warning keep your word and fire him. If you don't want to fire however, a 2-3 day suspension w/out pay. Document all concerns, have it in writing.

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Bashir November 3, 2010 at 4:43 am

It is unfortunate this is happening in your work place and under your leadership I presume.The attitue I read in this post is not one of visionary and charismatic leadership.Because you believe that he is silly why do you expext respect from him .Your attitude says quiet a lot about your leadership style if you have any clue about leadership skills.I suggest you take up some leadership skills course and it may change your attitude first and then the perception of your coworkers.
Bashir

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Stephen Spencer December 17, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Why is everyone jumping on her for calling him silly?

You assume too much, you have to read her question for what it is and take it for how it is written.

It is written that she has attempted, and that he is being silly in his disregard.

That aside, I think the suggestions are good ones, though I worry about someone that has a high amount of skill, being fired because he is simply unmanageable. If his unmanageability detracts from productivity, then get rid of him.

Disciplinary action won't work with someone who is unmanageable. I would sit with the employee and frankly let them know that if they can't get on board, then their responsibilities will be curtailed and their importance hedged. That would probably work best if he really is as disrespectful as he sounds.

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