How to describe an unmanageable team on interviews?
Additionally tips on how to deal with their insubordination daily?
I have been given a team to manage that has a long history of burning through managers. I am the 5th manager in 5 years. These employees are part of a collective bargaining unit and do not believe they require supervision or management. They operate our buildings and perform maintenance tasks. Each employee has spent 20+ years with the organization and is well known and liked by employees. On the flip side, HR agreed these employees will not listen or respect me or my decisions and it will not be held against me in reviews or evaluations.
The other teams I manage have proven that I am a good manager, my staff has been promoted, some have left for new roles that offer more challenges and I scored well on my 360 review.
Now however I face leading a team that does not want to be led. Combined with industry factors I am on the hunt for a new job. I was recently asked to describe my biggest management challenge in an interview and I paused before explaining this situation knowing it would be a red flag. I offered up a challenge around headcount ceilings and using contract labor.
Real life examples in the last 6 months of managing this team include them performing tasks off hours without approval in order to be paid overtime, not reporting building issues to me such as frozen pipes until after the event was over and not completing assigned tasks. I have kept everything in writing and HR is aware of the challenges but says their hands are tied because of the CBA.