SME Agony Uncle Bobby Kerr Answers Some More Important Queries

Becoming the Boss
First up this week is Patricia who has recently been promoted to shift supervisor within a busy midlands factory. Patricia was delighted when she was promoted as it comes after years of hard work as a shift worker and being recognised by management was very satisfying for her. However, since her recent promotion to shift manager she has noticed a change in how her colleagues interact with her at work. Patricia is being kept out of the loop with regard to social events and her co-workers are also not sitting with her at lunchbreaks. The mood has very much changed within the factory and she is struggling with the situation. Patricia is looking for any advice that Bobby has to deal with the situation.
Bobby’s Advice:
This is actually a common issue within the workplace. The first thing that Patricia needs to accept is that she has made a positive career decision – and the right decision in my opinion – to further her career and she should be very proud of her hard work to get to where she is. Change is part of life, and this is no different when it comes to the workplace. It’s unfortunate that her co-workers have reacted this way to her promotion, however it is more than likely nothing personal. Colleagues who Patricia would have interacted with on a daily basis are now answerable to her as shift supervisor. The relationship has undoubtedly changed, but I think that she just needs to be a bit more cautious when approaching the matter. I would advise Patricia to stay connected with her colleagues, and to muck in whenever she can. Patricia should keep showing an interest in her co-workers and I think the situation will ultimately sort itself out. If I were Patricia I wouldn’t take this personally. Although I understand it must be difficult, this is a natural progression and Patricia should focus on her own career and being the best she can be before worrying about her co-workers.
Standardised Clocking Systems
This week we received a query from John in Mayo who has noticed at his workplace that the day shift and night shift workers are clocking in on different machines through fingerprint recognition. John claims to have seen a separate clocking sheet for day workers who are paid to the minute from what was on the clock. A second clocking sheet showed time actually taken from employees from what was on the clock.
Bobby’s Advice:
Firstly, John would need to be absolutely sure of all the facts before raising the matter or discussing with management. If it is the case that his employer is treating two different shifts in different ways, this would indeed be concerning as employees should be paid according to hours worked. In a situation such as this, where all the facts are not known to all parties it’s always advised to approach with caution and maintain professionalism at all times.
That’s Not My Name – Getting Your Employee’s Names Right
The next query this week comes from Kevin who currently lives and works in the UK. Kevin recently started working in a close-knit office with a staff of only seven people. Kevin is getting on very well with management and his appraisals have been very positive. However, since starting in the company his boss has consistently called him by the wrong name. Kevin doesn’t mind when amongst co-workers however when in it happens in front of clients it becomes embarrassing to him. His boss calls him by another member of staff’s name and is wondering whether to confront his boss about the issue, or let it go?
Bobby’s Advice:
Because this is happening in front of clients and customers, I would approach his manager and outline that this may in fact reflect badly on management and the company. I think Kevin’s boss may see this as being a bit of fun or banter. More than likely Kevin’s boss will be surprised that this is even an issue. By speaking with him directly and broaching the subject, Kevin can make known his feelings on the matter and how it is beginning to affect him, particularly when it happens in the presence of clients. 
If you have a business or SME related query you would like answered - you can get in touch with Bobby each week by simply sending a short mail to [email protected]

Back to top