Management and Supervision Answers

How Do I?

How do I communicate policy or rules?

Policies should always be documented.  Company policy will be found in policy manuals and memorandums to employees.  Your work group policy should be documented in a memorandum to your employees.  You should also have each employee acknowledge that they've received a copy of your policy with their signature or initials on a distribution list.  Depending on your work group, you may want to issue your policy periodically.  Following this strategy eliminates one of the common excuses for violations of policy - "I was never told".

How do I communicate bad news to an employee?

A basic rule is that employee discipline is administered in private.  Apply the same rule to any bad news.          

  1. Be specific.  Donít mince words.  For example, if an employee is not going to receive a raise, say so.

  2. Explain the situation and provide specific examples as appropriate.

  3. Provide the employee with an opportunity to ask questions, but limit the discussion on what        happened.  You canít dwell on history.

  4. Focus on the future.  For example, for the employee who is being given a poor rating mention what steps the employee can take to improve his/her performance.  Discuss the strengths the employee can build on for the future.  For the employee who is being terminated you might indicate what is a more appropriate job for the employee.

What Do I Say?

What should I say when I want to establish or reinforce a policy or rule?

Be assertive.  Avoid ambiguous or wishy-washy phrases such as "please be reminded" or "your cooperation is requested".  Use phrases such as "employees shall" and "all employees shall adhere to".  Depending on the importance of the policy or rule, you may also want to state the consequence for not following the policy or rule.  For example, "failing to use the correct expense form will result in your form returned to you unprocessed" or "any form of sexual harassment will result in termination".

During a staff meeting, one of my staff asked why our team is staffing a function and why another team isn't sharing the load.  What do I say?

Be as honest and straightforward as you can.  Why is the function important and why is your staff assigned to the work.  Management has determined that your staff will perform the work and you don't have any authority over any other team except your own.



FranklinCovey. Experts at getting organized.

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