Q: I just learned that the project I’m managing/working on is being transferred to someone else at another location and the 2 people who work for me will be reporting to this person also. I’ll be working on legacy products. All of this was decided without any input from me. Should I take this up with HR?
A: It sounds like this was a rather quick decision. Without knowing the full and complete sequence of events and reasoning behind the decision, it is difficult for me to draw any specific conclusions around the quality of the decision. There may be valid reasons why this decision was made. In the ideal environment, I agree with your viewpoint though. It is preferred that a manager is involved in decisions which impact their direct reports, workload and projects. A manager involved in such a decision can provide important input to ensure a smoother and more efficient transition.
At times, senior leaders of an organization must move swiftly and make quick decisions. To some, these decisions may seem hasty or irrational. These decisions may be driven by a demanding customer, an anticipated acquisition or financial considerations. However, those affected may not be fully aware of all of the circumstances and facts. I have worked with alot of companies who have agonized over staffing and resource decisions. Often there is no perfect decision but instead a decision that is arrived at after much discussion, debate and analysis.
You can certainly contact HR. However, your employer probably did not break any laws or regulations. Most employers can change the “terms and conditions” of an employee’s role within the company without notice. If there is a collective bargaining agreement in place there may be some protection for you or your team members.
If you approach HR, I would suggest offering a professional and balanced review of the circumstances. If this is a pattern within your company, this pattern might be worth mentioning to HR.