IT Employment

General discussion


Convincing the CFO to keep exisiting staff..

I am the manager of 3 person IT department (including myself). I have been in the department for 7 years and have worked as the manager for the last 2 (needless to say, I've seen a lot changes and a lot of people come and go). Here is the delimma...Our company has just just completed some major restructuring and all of the department managers have been asked to restructure thier departments the way they see fit. In a brief discussion with my boss, who is the CFO, his direction seems to be leaning towards getting rid of my strongest employee (in some ways) and bring in a entry level new hire that we could pay less.

The current structure as it stands, is that I act as the department manager/sys. admin/network admin/overall go to person for the more technical issues/etc.

I have one direct report (the stronger employee) that plays the role of a helpdesk/support technician and can handle a lot of the smaller technical issues. I was looking at pulling this person up to Sys./Network Admin, so that I can transition out of that role and focus more on strategic planning and being a manager. Please keep in mind that this person has been with the company and in the department for almost 6 years, is more than capable of doing the job, has stepped up to the plate many times to work on not only projects that she likes but also those that she may not like and is a hard/dependable worker that does what she is asked to do.

My other direct report plays the role of a database designer/programmer/support technician. This person has been with the company for almost 6 years and had worked in several departments prior to joining the IT department. Because this person had been working on databases (along with an added agenda that didn't pan out), he was placed into the IT department almost 3 years ago. He really doesn't want to be in the IT department but he likes technical things, wants to learn about certain aspects of IT and feels that it better his chances to get into management one day (which is his ultimate goal), which has actually come out of his mouth. He is a very smart person and basically has self-taught himself database design and now produces several reports that the higher-ups depend on. But he is the type of worker that does what he wants to do and is only interested in working projects that he likes and feels will better his career vs. what needs to be done. Because he feels that no one can do what he does and has convinced others including the CFO (which is his friend) of this, he feels he can do what he wants without any reprecussion. Granted that I could sit down and learn what he does, it's not something I'm interested in doing. He has no sense of customer service (and can be down right rude at times) unless it deals with his databases and/or the reports he produces for the higher ups. He really doesn't like the support part of the job but her does it because at this point he has no choice. He is really not a people person.

In my brief discussion, it sounded as if I was able to convince my boss that we still need 3 people but now I've got to convince him that we need to keep the same people at the same salary in the same positions. Now with that in mind, what would be some good points that I could bring to table about why bringing a new hire in that we could pay less money may not be the best choice. Also, if you were in my shoes and had to make a financial based decision would you keep the support person on full time and use the database person part-time or would you keep the database person on full time and hire a cheaper full time support person? Just trying to get some honest opinons/thoughts from someone on the outside looking in. Thanks.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

You have more problems than you know

by amcol In reply to Convincing the CFO to kee ...

I hardly know where to begin, but I'll give you what I see as the short story.

You may have misjudged your "stronger" employee. It sounds to me that you may like this person more than the other employee, and based on your description I can hardly blame you. However, I don't see where the person you label as stronger is adding more value. You've got a good idea thinking about improving her skill set so she can take on some sys admin work, but let's face it...she's been a helpdesk technician for six years and apparently has had no opportunity to move up before this. Are you sure she's capable?

Your other employee is undermining you. He's a "friend" of your boss, the CFO, who is right now trying to micromanage you (does that happen often?). Very bad combination. You have to watch what's going on in front of you, behind you, and alongside you all the time, and that's while you're trying to do your job. Sounds kind of tiring to me. You're obviously in a small company, so there's nowhere to hide.

Your CFO says he wants you to consider a lower priced employee in place of your stronger person, and the obvious conclusion is that he doesn't get technology and just wants to save some dough. There may be other things going on here. You're a new your boss testing you, challenging you by presenting a position just to see how you'll react? Is your other employee going behind your back to malign the first one for some reason, and is the CFO reacting to that? You need some inside information here, or the slippery slope you're on will turn into a landslide with you at the bottom of the mudpile.

Does your CFO have a point? Are you defending your stronger employee inappropriately? Would the company in fact be better served by a lower priced employee? Never fight a battle you don't know in advance you can win, and never fight a battle that isn't worth winning.

No one but you can determine what the right answer is for your company and situation. If the organization would be best served by your plan to keep the strong employee and improve her skill set, then stick to your guns and find a way to make that argument. Use measurable, quantifiable, credible data that projects support costs versus return.

If I were you I'd find a way to grant the wish of your database designer as quickly as possible...get him out of IT. He is NOT your friend, he is NOT supportive, and he WILL create problems for you to the point where you may find your own job in jeopardy. Get this albatross off your back fast.

Related Discussions

Related Forums