Sunday, December 28, 2008

Working with a FOB (friend of the boss)

Last summer, our President offered a friend of his family a permanent position as our HR Manager. Her original introduction into the company over a year ago was not handled well resulting in all sorts of problems. She was never given a detailed job description and our employees did not have a clear understanding of her role in the company. This allowed her to create her own job description stepping on many toes in the process. Over a year later, employees still do not embrace her or her ideas. They do not trust or respect her as an HR Manager. This is probably for good reason, her main objective since she arrived was to create a permanent job for herself and her loyalties clearly lie with the owners. Others feel she received special treatment, such as an extremely flexible schedule and a higher than normal salary that would not have occurred if she wasn’t a friend of the owner.

I am one of her few confidants, yet I have also had my differences with her. As I look back on 2008, I realize too much time and energy was spent by me and my department resisting her and her ideas. I have come to realize if I were to become her rival everybody loses; her, the company and especially me, since she is the family friend. In 2009, I vow to develop the best possible relationship I can with her.

As a peace offering, I am sending her a note (written on the note cards she gave me as a holiday gift) thanking her for her support and encouragement in 2008 and wishing her a Happy New Year and a successful 2009. Perhaps others will follow my example and as a group we will begin focusing our energy on the real problems at hand such as the lousy economy.

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