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How a manager’s actions forced a promising new employee to quit

It was an exciting opportunity for Angel.

Angel had been working as a DSW or disability support worker for just over 8 months. In her job she worked in a residence supporting 3 individuals, helping them get through their daily routine. This was Angel’s first full time job since completing a course as a nursing assistant from a local college.

The exciting opportunity for Angel was that 10 supported individuals from her agency, along with many of their support workers, were going to a summer camp for 3 days. The agency had received special funding for this outing and everyone was excited.

The bus picked them all up and drove them to the summer camp. The camp was clean and safe, the staff were friendly, the food good and the whole place was just what it was advertised to be.

But things started to go downhill for Angel within a few hours of arriving.

After settling everyone in, the senior manager announced she was staying at a room in town, 15 minutes away and would be checking in from time to time. As soon as the senior manager left, many of her co-workers started acting as if they were on holidays too, spending much of their time at the special “smoking table” set aside from the camp. The staff at the camp tried to fill the gap, which was very helpful, but they were not trained support workers and Angel found herself suddenly having to guide them while also helping her individuals. Angel did not at all like what she was seeing happen.

When the senior manager did show up to check on things she came with her own agenda. She immediately started issuing orders and criticising individuals for shortcomings in what she saw, including some serious critique of Angel who felt she was doing her best and was already very frustrated.

Angel is now actively looking for a new job. She went from engaged and interested in what the agency stood for and interested in pursuing the field further to exactly the opposite.

When I asked Angel what the manager should have done differently her answers were simple:

  • She should have stayed on-site with the rest of us.
  • She should have made it clear who was in charge if she was not available.
  • She should have made it clear to all the staff that this was a work situation, not a holiday for them.
  • She should have taken the time to understand the situation before she started criticizing people when things were not working out the way she wanted them to.

Thanks for sharing Angel. Some of us will learn from this.


Inclusion Blog Post

By Inclusion Blog Post

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  1. The first mistake that was made was the manager making it appear as if she was on a higher level than the rest of the staff. We are a team and no one should feel that they are more important, or more valuable than the newest staff member. A manager should be able and willing to do every task that is asked of the rest of the team. As a manager, we need to bit our tongues many times. We may see something happening but we only see the top of the ice berg first. It takes times to dig down and find out what is really going on; or what is the real reason for the situation. It is a true saying: if things are going well, it is the efforts of the team that have contributed to the good outcome: If things are not going well, it is the efforts or lack of efforts of the manager.