I’ve been struggling over this situation and this post for the past ten days.
A department manager (in his late 50s…necessary info for later) comes to me, he has been touting around a proposal for a new innovation to the board and he wants to talk through how he sees it working. Essentially he wants the CEO and I to agree to take his team (of two including him) out of their current business unit and place them in a different one, so they can work on this project. Its not a bad idea, but it doesn’t warrant the +£250k overhead and doesn’t account for the need we will need to backfill into the current business.
We meet, we talk, we say no. He struggles with this. He can’t understand why we don’t do it, he says that if we can’t deliver this he thinks his team report (of one) will leave. In fact, he says she has an offer from our major competitor. Only this solution would retain her, we need to do it. We say that whilst we want her to stay, we can’t change the organisational structure for her and could they not work on the project along with their day jobs? Or alternatively we have this vacancy which she would be great for…in another company. He rebuffs us.
She resigns. He again comes back and says that the only way we can save her is by giving the green light for the project. Again we say no. He comes back and says that she will take one of our major clients with her…..we need to start this project for him. We ask what he is doing to mitigate the risk with the client? He comes back and says that she will take two clients. We ask what he is doing to mitigate the risk with the two clients and suggest what he needs to do. He returns and says that she thinks our actions to mitigate the risks are aggressive. He says that he cannot believe that we are doing this….letting her go.
His team member is in her early thirties. He the manager is having an affair with her. Now he has lost his lover (during work at least), his honour and our respect. He may not be far from losing his job.
Work is work. Life is life. Mixing the two is both wrong and dangerous.