Submitted by 33NWILLIAMS on
AN EMPLOYEE IN ONE OF MY WORK GROUPS HAD JUST FIRED OFF A MEMO, VIA EMAIL, TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT, COMPLAINING OPENLY ABOUT A CO WORKER, AND THE CO WORKER'S PERSONAL HABITS IN THE WORK PLACE. THE EMAIL NAMES THE OFFENDER AND STATES ALL OF THE THINGS THAT HE DOES, HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THE EMAIL AND THE OFEENSIVE EMPLOYEE?
MY MANAGEMENT TEAM JUST RECEIVED A FINAL REPORT AND I GOUND IT TO BE LACKING IN CONTENT HOW WOULD YOU FRAME YOUR RESPONSE TO THEIR REPORT?
Please have someone look at your keyboard. It looks like your caps lock key is stuck.
To Q1, the answer is most likely Feedback. You give frequent feedback to your direct reports. Like breathing.
To Q2, the answer is swallow. You do not give feedback to your manager(s).
Are you using the Management Trinity?
I would wager that you aren't, because during One-on-Ones the memo writer would have vented with you about the frustration that led to the email, and because you would have given adjusting feedback to whichever party is in the wrong.
So, recommendation #1 is to start the Management Trinity. Review the Basics podcast series, and then follow the process described in the "Rolling out the Trinity" podcasts at the end of the series.
But you have to do something immediately. I realize that I am a month late, but if nothing was done the problem will (or has already) manifest itself again, probably in another way. It probably falls under some "harassment" / "hostile workplace" laws or regulations and so may require specific action or paperwork. If your company has an HR department you should meet with whoever deals with your department and get them up to speed. HR may define what needs to be done. It is very possible that serious action is required, perhaps suspension or termination. Additionally, unless HR directs you otherwise, I would do the following.
First, meet with the memo writer, and make clear that this kind of mean, nasty, negative, (pick your adjective) communication is inappropriate and unacceptable. It doesn't matter if the memo was 100% accurate, it is inappropriate. I would seriously consider a written reprimand to be delivered in this meeting. If Memo Writer has a problem with a co-worker, the problem should be worked out with the co-worker or should be brought to your attention. The meeting is not a discussion or a negotiation; do not even allow responses beyond "Yes, I understand." Your tone should be calm but stern. Do not allow a conversation about the target and the offensive habits. It is not possible to overstate the seriousness of this behavior.
Second, meet with the target of the memo. Again, do not focus on the complaints, but instead on how the target feels about the situation. Let the target know that you have addressed the issue and that you will do better at keeping the memo writer from repeating the boorish behavior.