Work related stress and HR

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by MIghtyG, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. MIghtyG

    MIghtyG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3,052
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +981
    Not sure what sort of response this will get on here but thought id ask anyway.

    At my current job, which is tbh, my first 'real' job (everything else has been part time)

    My department is under a massive amount of strain just now due to massive work loads and low staffing levels. We have a huge project on at the moment which seems to be running into brick walls at every turn which has resulted in some rather peeved clients shouting, waving fingers and generally being rather 'aggressive' towards me and our department. And going way above our heads so right now I feel like an ant in a sunny day with 20 annoyed clients/directors/bosses etc etc playing about with a magnifying glass.

    Now, wither they have a foot to stand on is another argument as we can explain away a number of the problems on factors which are well out of our control.

    Anyway, the project was kicked started by people who have now left the company, just as things are reaching their critical point and just when we started running into walls.

    So me, and my boss have been left with the baby so to speak. Learning about the project as we go and fire fighting left and right. My boss has been stressed out to the max and is now signed off by the doctor.

    I too am beginning to crack and I dont know if I should talk to someone in the company, there isn't really anything anyone can do to help in our HR department as to help requires a level of technical knowledge and training etc and the people we need are all taken/busy.

    So, would it be worth contacting HR to make them aware that im under quite a bit of stress at the moment considering theres not really anything they can do for me other than go 'uh-hu....uh-hu...ohh....uh-hu...really'
     
  2. kav

    kav
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    25,488
    Products Owned:
    10
    Products Wanted:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +13,816
    Do you work where I work by any chance? :devil:

    HR is an option, but the first port of call should always be your manager, and since he isn't there, his manager. HR is usually seen as a drastic option when you are not receiving any support despite flagging your workload/resourcing issues up the line, so if you want to stay on the good side of your senior management, make sure you talk to them first before you take the HR approach. It's the right thing to do, it keeps them on your side and gives them an opportunity to help you out before you go pulling out the big guns. If you don't get anywhere having tried that (I'd try twice, but it depends on your level of tolerance) then go to HR - just be wary of burning your bridges.

    Take some time to pull together some facts - don't just go in to your management on a rant. eg "this time last year there were four of us working full time on Project X, now only I am left running it and I can only spend half my time on it due to Projects Y and Z". Along with that, come up with some suggestions or recommendations for how to improve the situation. Everyone always thinks that throwing extra resource at the problem will resolve it but the guys with responsibility for the budget won't think like that - they will focus first on reprioritising your work and seeing if you can deliver according to timescales. If options are exhausted here, they may consider resources, but you need to have explored this before you go in, otherwise you will just appear to be whinging rather than making a constructive suggestion. Good luck.
     
  3. nheather

    nheather
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    19,352
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Horsham, West Sussex
    Ratings:
    +9,448
    Depends on the size of company and what resources it has.

    I work in a very large company that provides all the help that should be available, but you may not be so fortunate.

    Anyway, from a Health Point of view the best people to speak to are Occupational Health. I have actual experience of this where, talking to my line managers, HR, resource manager acheived very little but as soon as I riased it with Occupational Health things changed very quickly.

    Will only help if you have an OH department/representative of course.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  4. MIghtyG

    MIghtyG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3,052
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +981
    Cheers for the replys guys, Like I say, this is the first I have been in a 'proper' job and the first I have had to deal with stuff like this and I just don't know the protocol and don't want to be stepping on toes.

    My manager's manager is a guy I have never met before, he has been in charge of our group for about 8-10 months now and I think he has visited my boss once...

    I have been thinking about things and I just don't know what can be done, with people leaving before and now my boss off the main thing we have lost is experience and technical know how. I have been in the industry for a little over 2 years and I started as a graduate so im still learning as I go along.

    We are a big business but a small product line within the business, one with quite specific skills etc so experienced people are hard to come by and the few that are out their are already working on other projects and don't have the time.

    My thinking behind getting something logged with HR was 1) to make sure they are aware of how things are in the department at the moment. 2) to cover my back so if things get worse I have something recorded to say why. and 3) maybe they can help in some way I haven't thought of!

    Just feel like im getting pulled apart at the seems at the moment, last week I was working 0700-1900 without stopping for lunch....getting home for dinner and still on the phone and emails until 2200 and working from home most weekends. I have even came in during my holidays to help out!
     
  5. adamdodsworth

    adamdodsworth
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    162
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +27
    I would raise the issue, even if you don't think you will get any extra resources to help. At least then you can say you flagged the problems at an early stage if anything goes wrong further down the line.
     
  6. Hillskill

    Hillskill
    Moderator/Games Reviewer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Messages:
    22,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere being wrong but staying strong
    Ratings:
    +5,501
    Go get all your concerns, problems, issues, examples of where you have been put in a situation where goals are infeasible and pressure is unacceptable on the record. Have a meeting. Vent. Tell the manager everything and how you are being dumped on. Follow that up with an email. Then sit and wait for help. If none comes then send more official correspsondence. Then you have done everything you can to bring attention to the issue. If they try and blame you or issue disciplinary against you for poor management etc you have proof that you did what you could.

    Don't let it stress you out and make you ill. Its a bloody job! Work hard and do your best but do not drive yourself into the ground. Your company can't just turn a blind eye and let this project fail and if they do be sure you have done everything you can to protect yourself.
     
  7. MIghtyG

    MIghtyG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3,052
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +981
    Cheers for the replies guys....just talking on here about it is helping me vent some :)

    I seem to swing from "ach well, im working as hard as I can...what more can I do?" to "ohh good god....its all going wrong....what the hell can I do?.....Jesus, Allah, Buddha HELP ME!"

    Feel like im getting mini panic attacks when I go to sleep, encase I miss an important email from someone overnight or dont hear the phone ringing, not eating properly and not sleeping properly. Not cool!

    I going to broach the subject with some other guys in the office who are longer in the tooth than me and get some advice on the way ahead from them....just hate talking about stuff like this....feels like an admission of failure, just not being good enough for the job :(
     
  8. kav

    kav
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    25,488
    Products Owned:
    10
    Products Wanted:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +13,816
    No, failure would be knowing that you aren't adequately resourced to deal with your workload and not saying anything about it, just panicking as you drown in it. The right thing is definitely to communicate. Depending on the quality of your management they will either react to it and support you, or if things don't go that way you can escalate it further with a clear conscience because you at least tried. :)
     
  9. KeithO

    KeithO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,435
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Erding, Bavaria
    Ratings:
    +214
    Is the big project just being run as an internal thing, or do you have a proper project manager, project plan, critical path analysis, timescales etc etc?

    If it's the latter, then the PM should be able to help you identify the impact(s) on the project of your boss being signed off sick, others leaving etc. Armed with that you can either work out a new timescale, or request the resources required to be able to keep to the original plan (if you think you can get the right skills onboard).

    At least that way you have something concrete to present to upper management, and not just be seen as whinging.

    I would also try and get in touch with your manager's manager, and brief him on what's going on. If he stops by as infrequently as you say, maybe he's not even aware of the impacts?
     
  10. BT Bob

    BT Bob
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,392
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Ratings:
    +1,154
    Pretty much what I was thinking.

    Given that the OP's line manager is off sick, you'd have hoped HIS manager was aware, and that there would be a potential impact on the people still involved with the project.

    I think drawing it to his attention sooner rather than later is the way forward.

    Best of luck.
     
  11. stetash

    stetash
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,143
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +273
    Not really got a lot to add that hasn't already been said, it's good that you have identified you are stressed and the need to do something about it.

    It may be a good idea to record the key factors for the project stalling and I would certainly speak to the next senior person as they may not be aware of the problems if you have only seen them once.

    As previously stated its a job and really not worth harming your health over, speak to someone as soon as you can, all the best !
     
  12. MIghtyG

    MIghtyG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3,052
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +981
    It is more of an internal thing and tbh, its not really ran following the proper 'project management' blueprint with a PM, sponsor, critical paths etc etc.

    My manager's manager is aware of the situation but, tbh, he doesn't really know much about our equipment or how they operate so can't provide much assistance. He has offered to come in and speak to the client on a 'high level' which isn't what we need at the moment. We need someone with technical knowledge and experience of situations like this who can offer alternative solutions and ideas beyond what we have at the moment and potentially spot things we are missing.

    I had a bit of a chat with some guys in the office about it and tried to stress just how much we need help and I think he is going to look to get some help from someone somewhere in the globe as we just have too much to deal with at the moment nevermind all the stuff thats on the horizon and on the march forward!

    I'm trying to keep calm and deal with as much as I can but there's only so much one man can do :laugh:

    Anyway, working on my CV at the moment so....anyone looking to hire an Engineer? :thumbsup:.........:lease:
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice