Should Upper Manager Talk Directly To Employee?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about bypassing chain of command.

If the manager suggested changes in one department’s system directly to the employee handling the job and not section chief, is the manager bypassing the section chief? Or is it considered a by pass at all?

Signed, Changes

Dear Changes:

I don’t know because I don’t know your chain of command. However, to avoid accusation of bypassing it is wise to keep those informed who might have authority over a matter, have a say or simply be more aware of what has been said or that might happen as a consequence of suggested changes. I assume from your query that you think a manager should have consulted or allowed the section chief to make suggested changes.

In short, you imply a lack of communication on the part of the manager. Now it is wisest not to worry about the protocol of who should or should not have suggested changes. The important thing is to do you part to keep communication “rich” rather than to be stifled by rigid concern about chain of command. The focus of all should be an individual and collaborative effort to make your system and operation efficient and effective.One way to think “collaboration” is to talk about talk; that is in formal staff meetings, informal skull sessions, and huddles to ask and answer questions such as: How well are we communicating?

What might we do to not wonder who’s doing what? What might make our operations better? What deserves applause and what needs correcting?My signature sentence sums up the attitude and process that go hand in hand with effective operations: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden