Difficult transition due to previous manager's change of heart

  1. ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DRAG YOUR FEET. GO TO THE DON, AND THE DON'S BOSS IF YOU HAVE TO!! HECK GO TO THE TOP OF THE LADDER!!!!!! THE ONLY REASON THEY ARE DOING THIS OR "GETTING AWAY WITH THE CRAP" IS BECAUSE THEIR "BOSS", SUP...ETC. HAS AND IS ALLOWING THEM TO DO THIS. IT SOUNDS AS IF SOMEONE WHO MADE THAT DECISION AS FAR AS "2" MANAGERS IS JUST TOO CHICKEN.....YEP, I SAID CHICKEN!! TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH ANYTHING, AND THAT MEANS ALLOWING YOU TO DO YOUR JOB.PERIOD....!!!!OH, AND GETTING RID OF, OR JUST PLAIN TELLING THE "OLD" MANAGER TO MOVE ON WITH HER POSITION. ANYWAY, HOW ARE THEY ALLOWING 2 MANAGERS IN THE SAME POSITION, THEY ARE ACTUALLY PAYING? YOU GO GIRL, WHAT DO HAVE TO LOSE. LOOK AT YOUR OPTIONS, DO YOU WANT TO BE THE BOSS, WOULD THE STAFF BENEFIT FROM YOU, COULD YOU IMPROVE ON SEVERAL ISSUES, WOULD YOU BE A MORE "VALUABLE" EMPLOYEE/MANAGER? IF YOU BELIEVE IT, THEN DO IT. YOU CERTAINLY CANNOT WORK UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS. I'M ROOTIN FOR YOU! GOOD LUCK
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   wendy_w
    6 weeks ago I was hired to be the clinical nurse manager of a large hospital's surgical dept. There are 14 OR's and over 50 employees to supervise. The problem I've run into is that the previous manager who still works there made the decision to transfer to an educator position at the time of my hire and seemed relieved to do so.She was supposed to be OR nurse educator. However, 6 weeks later she has admitted that although in the beginning she wanted to step down from the manager's job and let someone else do it, it's not as easy to turn the responsibilities over to someone else as she thought it was going to be. She has dragged her feet at every turn. She has put off allowing me to take on any of the responsibilities of the job that she still enjoys doing. Her response to my asking for these duties is that it took her a year to learn to do the scheduling, etc. and she doesn't feel I'm ready. However she cannot say one negative thing to our director about how I'm doing so far in my new role and in fact, I am doing quite well for someone new to this type of position. I am uncomfortable and frustrated at the roadblocks she puts up. Our director will leave her position in a month due to political pressure and extreme unpopularity. The fear the 2 of them have for me is that the staff can't handle too many changes at once and this transition between the old and the new manager has to be a very slow one---like 6 or more months. I have been offered the educator role that the previos manager used to want.I have no interest in it. She wants her old job back and the staff plays the 2 of us against each other because there are no clear roles between who is the manager because we both are. The previous manager is being passive-aggressive and lets this happen and was told by our director to stop doing this. Now that the director is leaving, I feel the former manager will drag her feet even more to prevent me from taking over the reins and do my job. Any suggestions about what to do? Should I now go to the DON since the director is leaving and has little influence on the situation? Should I wait it out and see what happens?
  4. by   PPL
    I agree! This is too much! Schedule a meeting ASAP with the director, the DON and this other "manager" who refuses to move on, and yourself, so there can be no he said/she said stuff. Stand up for yourself and your new position. You sound like you will be good at it. Present yourself in a calm, prepared manner, even if your heart is thumping inside your chest! State your case and see what happens. I wish you all the luck and courage you need.
  5. by   wendy_w
    Thanks for the encouragement and support. This situation is so complicated due to the director of surgery resigning in a month and I feel unsupported and alone.Today she tried to talk me into giving up and finding an easier job. She thinks I should slink away and not go head to head with the former manager who has dug her heels in.I almost had myself talked into this when I decided that I am not going to give up so easily because I turned down another job for this one and I'm confident that I will be an asset to the dept. Not to mention the fact that it is a promotion and 10K more a year that my previous job. I told the former mgr. today that I am totally committed to this job and that her indecisiveness doesn't just affect her. It affects me and my future too! She is now saying that this job is too much for just one person and that we can back each other up and that she doesn't know what it is that she's not teaching me that I should be doing. I said just about everything!I told her that the staff plays us against each other and cannot have two managers. Not to mention the fact that the budget doesn't allow for it. She goes on vacation next week and I plan to make the most of it. This isn't over yet by a long shot. I am a first time manager and so don't have the backround yet to jump in and completely take over yet. However I'm not willing to make this as slow a transition as the former mgr. would like it to be--like 5 years or so---NOT!
  6. by   Janis Noone
    I feel bad for you and for the circumstances that you are in. It will be hard for you to get off to a good start with the previous manager still in the picture but you sound fully able to handle this. The first thing I would do is to tell the previous manager specifically what you want to take over (such as schedule or budget) and by what date. So if she has a month to transition this, she has the chance to tell you or teach you what she wants but after that date you will do it, even if you do it poorly. I would solicit staff to help you move forward by asking them in focus groups what is working, what is not working, and what the priorities should be for the next year. This must be done without the previous mgr there for optimal input but the goal here is to move the staff into seeing you as the person at the helm. Avoid any and all negative interactions with or about the previous mgr as this will only reflect poorly on you in the long term. Keep your head up and stay principled, honest, and focused on what your role is. And remember it truly is your role and yours alone. What if that previous mgr had moved away or died? Would you not be able to take the job over? If they did not think you could do this job then they should not have hired you into it. Next, think about what you can do to direct the previous mgr into doing what she is now supposed to do; ask her to do a needs assessment to identify staff education needs...tell her you need an orientation manual done by xx date; ask her to write or review/revise policies in re to orientation and education; ask for her to research what similar depts in other organizations are doing for orientation and education. Ask her to work on JCAHO education for OR staff...anything that will move her into her new role which will take her off your back. Most important....set a date at which time the "transition" must be done, whether it is to be perfect or not. I would give her a month and then ask that she be a resource after that..."I can call you if I find I still need anything". I know it is hard but try to separate your emotion from this. Think about how to be smarter and more strategic than her.

    You might also wish to join a nurse manager mail list and ask other members of the list for advice on specifics. They can be a wonderful resource to you. Go to http://www.shef.ac.uk/~nhcon/nulist.htm#nursing and look for the RN-MGR list; follow the subscribe instructions and you will automatically get all of the mail that goes back and forth. You can read and observe for a few days then post your own questions. You will get alot of good ideas from this group if you want to give that a try.

    Sharon LaDuke had a good article on management skills in the May 2000 issue of Nursing Management that you might also want to read. Good luck! Jan
  7. by   Nancy1
    Wendy,
    It sounds like your situation is a perfect example why a person who steps aside should not be active in the same facility.
    I have been told that after my time a s President of an organization is done, I should not attend board meetings so that the new person can establish her/himself as the new head.
    It would have been nice if she would have just offerred her assistance should you need it and not expect that you would.
    The flavor I got from reading your posting is that this former manager is unable to do her new job and wants the old safe one back.
    Well, the joke is on her. You sound as if you are strong enough to let her know that the unit now is yours. If she chooses to visit it should be on break time for her as well as your staff.
    I suggest, like the others. Stand up for yourself. Do not allow her failure in her new position bring a failure to you. NA
  8. by   PPL
    Nancy1 is exactly correct! And please keep us posted as to what's happening, as we're rooting for you!
  9. by   wendy_w
    I did not ask you this but are you this former manager's supervisor now? The dynamics of that relationship could be even more stressful if you are. Again, good luck to you although my bet is that you will use your head and get through this like the star that you are. If you stay focused on your job and doing what you need to get done in order to shine, she will eventually move aside. If she choses to continue to interfere, be sure your supervisor is made aware of the objective and factual statements and actions. You will need to stay emotionally unavailable to this person so that she does not play games with you and seemingly emotionally stable to staff and others....even when you want to say and do otherwise. Take a deep breath and remember who you are. :-)

    [This message has been edited by Janis Noone (edited July 23, 2000).]
  10. by   wendy_w
    Things are starting to look up.....slowly but surely. The staffing duties have been completely turned over to me by my director who feels the fmr. mgr. has dragged her feet long enough. She feels M. should start focusing on her new responsibilities and the best way to do that is to move her office away from the O.R.and down one floor. I've been documenting all the info, memos and e-mail M. has kept from me in order to keep me in the dark. When it was discovered by the director how I'm being sabotaged she decided to take action before her last day of work. The DON and the interim O.R. Director are aware and will back me up and act as resource people. I am feeling much relieved but will still be on my guard. Thanks again for everyone's support--we all need to be there for each other.
  11. by   Patricia Smith
    Wendy: I am glad that the DON is aware of the situation--She (the old manager) is bad news! More importantly, it doesn't matter what "she" thinks or does; it is your employees view that truly matters. I wouldn't even mention her name or be brought into any conversation that includes her name--Support your staff; meet with them regularly and implement positive change. Good Luck!

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