Stacy's Place on Earth
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Monday, July 26, 2010:
You can catch more bees with honey...

I have a mini rant I'd like to get off my chest. I thought I'd let it go earlier this week, but after speaking with my coworkers about it, I found out they felt the same way I did, and I was curious to know how other people react to this kind of thing in their workplace.

Recently our offices received our monthly survey results on how we're doing in the area of customer satisfaction, which tends to rate heavily on our performance evaluations. Fortunately, the office I work at is doing quite well, but one of our local counterparts did not achieve a high enough score - they fell short of the expected result. Without making excuses, admittedly, let's face it, times are tough economically and there's a lot of competition out there, and my colleagues also work at one of the busiest, most understaffed locations we operate.

But what was rather appalling, at least to me, is that the manager of that office wrote a rather bitter email to her group, criticizing their behavior (unwarranted!) and holding them all accountable for the results. Granted, it does make sense to say that these employees directly impact these results, however the way she went about to chastise her team was rather demoralizing and patronizing. She sounded much like a disapproving parent disciplining her misbehaving child, though you can't really say there was any misbehaving going on by the employees.

I don't know about you, but this type of criticism has never proven to be very effective, in my personal experience. Instead of encouraging people to work harder and produce more positive results, I find it tends to do the exact opposite. In my case, I freeze up, shut down, stress out, make more mistakes, and feel rather resentful of this type of treatment. And I certainly cannot respond any person - boss, friend, colleague - who uses it as a tool to produce desired results.

So I'm curious: how do you respond to this type of

managing style?

Do you think it serves a purpose?

Why or why not?


  1. The problem with email is that you say things in the heat of the moment that you regret later..this style of management doesn't work. I have been known to do it a time or two at work, and it never achieves the desired result.

    I know a lot of people in sales & getting their quotas is really hard in this economy-but their bosses don't like to hear that excuse, but imho it's not an excuse, it's a fact-people just aren't buying like they used to. (Sorry for this long winded comment)

  2. How utterly embarrassing for that manager's employees. First off, emails are never the way to go when dealing with problems in the office. Screaming emails show a lack of managerial skills and respect for your employees. I have never been one to respond well to threats and accusations. Getting an email blaming me for the woes of the office wouldn't inspire me to do my best. Rather, it would insult and anger me to the point I would probably forward it to higher ups. This will come back and bite this mgr in the butt.

  3. Another issue with emails is that you can't properly convey what it is you want to say and things can be taken in the wrong way (either good or bad). Ugh, sounds rough.

  4. I used to have a manager like was bad. Everyone sat in fear at their desks and if you have ever seen "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Renyolds the way the employees were at the start of the movie was exactly like what it was like in that office. No one wanted to work harder, and it was just plain bad to work there.

    I say ya'll call in Terry Tate: Office Linebacker on em. If you never saw those or forgot about them please please Youtube them. If nothing else it will crack up your abused coworkers.

  5. That is terrible Stacey..

    Firstly from the mere fact that she has resorted to an email tells me she does not have a decent working relationship with her team.. (even if shewanted to have tangible prove that she spoke ot the staff - a meeting should have been held and an adult discussion taken place)

    Then there is the fact that "the buck stops here" - she is literally tossing SOLE responsibilty onto the staff and moving herself off to the side...

    Without knowing her - clearly there is a lot to be said about her managemnt style...

    I am quite embarassed for her and I dont know her..

    me personality - this is the area that I work in and I always feel direct approach/contact is most times the best approach - even with gossip or even this type of situation...

    The staff needs to clear the air with her or call in a mediator - but it will only get worst -because this will not be forgiven or forgotten...

    Hang in there hon...


  6. I don't think email is the way to express anything requiring tact - like JA Saare said, conveying yourself well in an email is very hard. Tone and body language are missing, and both are extremely important to communication. And I agree with Buckeye Girl - never send an email in the heat of the moment.

    We had an recent incident at my work in which we were informed that a much valued colleague would be leaving...via email. We found out at the same time as the rest of the company. A number of people were unhappy at this approach and this was expressed. I think the department needs to make it clear that email is not the way to communicate criticism, regardless of whether or not said criticism is justified (which in this case it sounds like it is not).

    As for criticism itself, I don't cope with it well at all. I always turn it on myself - berating ensues. I need to learn to cope with it better, but...oh, just thought of something. Criticism needs to be constructive, otherwise it's pointless.

  7. As others have said, saying this in an email was not a smart move. The manager should have spoken to the employees individually and/or in a group.

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