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Employee Wants Demotion!


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This is a bit of an unusual one.

 

I employed a Room Leader in October of last year. The job was a challenging one as the room is busy and, as we recognised, some of the staff did need further training and modelling of best practice.

 

The Room leader came in and has turned the room around and done everything that I wanted her to do. However, she has now started to get some financial help off the government towards her rent etc., and has now announced that she wants a demotion as she feels she can't do the job anymore.

 

Given that all the staff have improved 100%, that the room is running really well and the children are having really positive experiences, I can only conclude that she is thinking that why should she have to have the stress of a room leader when the government will help her with money.

 

That might seem cynical but both myself and my assistant manager have spoke to her at length about how we can support her and what issues she has with staff, and there just doesn't seem any real justification for what she is saying. One of the comments was 'they don't put the toys out the way I like it'. Something that can be easily sorted out by a discussion with staff.

 

My dilema is:-

 

We don't really have anybody else that I would consider room leader material at the moment

I can't afford to just go and hire somebody else and have another extra member of staff, as I do that already to cover hols/sickness etc.

I don't want to move anybody from their current post and swop because all the staff are happy in their current room leader positions and the parents like who is where etc, it all works really well.

 

However, she does work well with the children and would I be cutting off my nose to spite my face, as they say.

 

If I do put somebody else from the nursery in her place who is not ready be a room leader, then that will affect the room.

 

My first gut feeling is to say, sorry but that's the position that is available, if you can't fulfil that position, then you need to make a decision about your future with the company.

 

She has said if I don't demote her within two weeks she is going to walk.

 

Any suggestions? :o

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Personally I would sit her down and explain that for business purposes it cannot be that she is demoted and explain what you have in your post. Then I would offer to work with her to help her with the issues so she has no reason to be concerned about what is happening, and have her carry on with the job she is employed to do. If, after this, she still wants to go, then let her. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I think there is little else you can do here.

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Thank you, you aren't being harsh as that's exactly how I feel. I always support anybody who is having difficulty or needs help managing their rooms, but I also worry that once I move her to another position, then somebody else (as has happened before), starts saying they want to move rooms as they don't like it where they are and you open yet another can of works.

 

Consistency for the children is paramount, as well as happy staff. It is too much to ask for both!!!!

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I can't see that she can demand you do this, given that you have employed her in that post.

 

I would also let her walk, making sure she gives you the notice as per her contract. This should give you time to advertise for someone else.

 

Good luck.

 

Ironically I have a staff member I think should be demoted but probably wouldn't want to be, even if I paid her the same! You can't win in this game :o

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Sheila she is completely out of order threatening to walk out if you don't do what she wants - Do you accept this kind of behaviour from the kids ? no. If I was in your position I would offer her extra support as already suggested on this thread and tell her she will be greatly missed but you will not be blackmailed and nobody is indipensible. As you point out, even if it were financially viable to get another member of staff, you are setting an example to everyone else who works for you and agreeing to her 'demands' is not the way forward. I was watching a program called 'inside John Lewis' last night and a quote from there springs to mind the 'main man' said ' being in leadership means making the right decisions not the popular ones'. Good luck with whatecer you decide.

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This lady sounds like a great asset to your setting. Have you given her enough chance to express why she feels she can no longer be room leader? Perhaps it has taken an enormous effort to fulfil your expectations and she feels that she can't sustain this for a long period. Could it be that she finds managing the staff very stressful? Maybe she feels that if she can't keep going she's likely to let your setting down in some way. Can she really tell you what she's finding difficult without losing face?

 

 

Have you discussed the option of sharing some aspects of the role between other members of staff? Perhaps there's something she finds particularly difficult to deal with.

 

I think I would dig a bit deeper before I let someone valuable walk away from my setting. After all, if she leaves, you'll have to find another room-leader anyway.

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Hi Upsy Daisy,

 

Thanks for your feedback, but this lady is very confident and as I always have an open door policy has discussed ongoing issues and been given support. The room wasn't that bad, it just need a strong confident leader to bring everything together.

 

So although I do take on board what you say, she has been a room leader before, is confident and does speak her mind, so although I am and have supported her there really are not the issues in that room that give rise to this ultimatum.

 

As part of our training plan, all staff are observed, as are the rooms, environment, children etc by myself and my assistant manager, plus there is a viewing point between the rooms and my assistant manager can always see and hear what is going on.

 

She is good at her job and it would be sad to see her walk away, but as vicki said in an earlier post, you can't be blackmailed.

 

Thanks for replying and putting another good point across to make me think

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Hi Sheila21,

 

You've clearly given this a lot of thought already and reassured yourself that you're giving her all the support that she needs. In that case you can't be pushed into making a decision which is wrong for your setting. All you can do is let her know that it's not possible to make the changes she wants at the moment but you'll bear it in mind for the future. If she chooses to leave rather than wait then at least you know you've done your best.

 

Good luck - I hope you find a good resolution.

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Hi Sheila21,

 

You've clearly given this a lot of thought already and reassured yourself that you're giving her all the support that she needs. In that case you can't be pushed into making a decision which is wrong for your setting. All you can do is let her know that it's not possible to make the changes she wants at the moment but you'll bear it in mind for the future. If she chooses to leave rather than wait then at least you know you've done your best.

 

Good luck - I hope you find a good resolution.

 

Thanks and its always good to have people give another view on things to make sure you have considered all the options.

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This is a bit of an unusual one.

 

However, she has now started to get some financial help off the government towards her rent etc., and has now announced that she wants a demotion as she feels she can't do the job anymore.

 

Any suggestions? xD

 

It may be that in order for her to continue to receive financial help she needs to earn less money than she already is and that's why she is saying she can no longer do the job. Perhaps she needs a drop in wages and then somehow give her a bonus that wouldn't affect her financial support.

 

Just a thought :o

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My initial though was same as BrendaS.. this financial support may depend on the amount she is earning and if too much she will lose the income...

 

I had a member of staff who when she did overtime or more hours lost more more money in her benefit than the income she had earned... so we had to be very careful with the hours she worked... or she ended up out of pocket.. and she could not afford to lose the benefit.

 

but that said, she would have to declare what she is now earning and it would be based on that.. so cannot see this being the issue..

 

I too would say she is/ was employed in that position, there is not a current opening for her to change , but should one come up in the future she would be able to apply for the post/ considered for it.. then it would be her choice as to walk or resign her post..

 

her resigning or walking may have an impact on her benefits also... as she would effectively be making herself unemployed..

 

Inge

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How sad she is clearly good at the job! and that benifits the children in her care

Its so hard when this happens because the really good staff often give their all and some!

 

But it would appear she needs to thinkl of her family

Good luck

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