Crushing Positive Employee Relations

Distracted managers not focused on the needs and expectations of employees is a major source of dissatisfaction for employees. Kudos (and my appreciation) to those committed to maintaining positive employee relations.

There are many things a manager can do to maintain positive employee relations. One thing a manager can do is to respect, acknowledge and appreciate their employees. Another, make sure you're as nice in email as you are in person

  • Respect the impact an email can have on an employee. When an employee sees an email from their boss, their blood pressure actually goes up, no matter what the content of the mail is. But, understandably, blood pressure went up even more when employees got angry emails from the boss, or emails from a boss they perceived to be unfair. If you get in the habit of sending little bombs throughout the day, you will create a truly deadly workplace.
  • Be consistent. People read a lot into emails because the emails are devoid of the nonverbal cues we use to judge a message delivered in person. If you usually send very cordial ones, and then send a cold one, people who depend on you will spend hours analyzing it. The more consistent you are, the more people will focus on your content and stop wasting time trying to figure out subtext.

Not sexy enough, I know, but being nice in email can help you to avoid legal landmines. Email transmissions are considered "documents," and can be used against an employer in a lawsuit in the same way as any written letter or memorandum. Moreover, deleted messages do not just "go away," but remain in the company´s electronic archives.  Deleted messages can be recalled, and an improper message can come back to haunt an employer months or years after the message was first transmitted.

Ready to fire off a strongly worded email, tip the balance of power in your favor and enjoy the illusion while it lasts?  Don't. Step away from the computer.

I expect more from a leader in my organization. You should too.

Departing Rants

A reader asks:

Any thoughts of how to address (departing) employee rants broadcast widely via email? Thanks

If the departure was of his or her choosing, thank your lucky stars for their assistance in ridding your company of the bad, bad employee. If the departure was because of you, pat yourself on the back.

The terms of the departure, time between disparaging email and departure date, the content of the e-mail, the position, role or influence of the employee in question are a few of the things to consider but I would tend to give it very little response or reaction. Employees are smart people and the good ones will see right through it and give the negative comments of a parting employee the weight they deserve - none.

Comments anyone? Agreeing and dissenting opinions both welcome!