Ask HR: How do we Escalate Our Work Frustrations Amicably?
Q. I work at an organisation where the immediate bosses are not supportive to staff. For example, one has to write to them to request for basic office resources like stationery.
Persistent pleas made to our supervisor to supply us with the necessary equipment have not triggered any worthwhile action, with promises that are never met being made every time.
This has consequently affected our productivity due to delays. How can my colleagues and I raise this matter with the top management without seeming to challenge the organisation’s hierarchy?
I do not understand how managers, whose productivity is also measured through their teams’ work would deliberately fail to provide resources necessary to facilitate output.
As I reflect on this I can think of three reasons. You could be dealing with insecure managers, who feel threatened by your skills and competencies, hence use their authority to deny you key resources to frustrate your work.
You; on the other hand, could be dealing with a company-wide problem where similar tactics are applied across the organisation and your managers are caught in between a situation quite beyond their control.
And yet, the challenge maybe non availability of financial resources to provide the tools you need. Whatever maybe driving this, you need to act otherwise you may soon be deemed unproductive.
Do not accept to be a sitting duck, you deserve better.
The option you are discussing with your colleagues seems the best action at the moment. You need to escalate this to a higher authority, and I am sure in your policies there is a process of how this should be done.
Whichever the process, you need to demonstrate a number of things. A list of the resources that you need to get your job done and the impact this has on your work, in their lack. It could be a case of poor supply chain that needs to be evaluated and reviewed, or poor decision and bureaucracy that needs to be addressed for speedy turnaround.
You have to be prepared for some backlash from your supervisors as they will not be happy to be reported to their seniors. You do not have to be apologetic about this, it is the duty of the employer to provide their employees with all necessary tools required to perform their duties.
If all channels fail to work, do not accept to be a sitting duck, you deserve better. Polish up your papers, there must be an employer out there more deserving of your skills and willing to give you the support required.