Rein in re­sumé to give po­ten­tial em­ployer a break

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE -

Q: Our work­place has been a con­tin­ual re­volv­ing door of em­ployee res­ig­na­tions due to the bul­ly­ing be­hav­iour of our de­part­men­tal leader. The at­mos­phere is poi­sonous, em­ploy­ees are de­pressed and dis­tressed. As a re­sult, clients are not re­ceiv­ing the best of ser­vice. Our staff has ral­lied to­gether and has ap­proached man­age­ment both for­mally and in­for­mally on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions to no avail. We are now des­per­ate. What can we do?

A: The de­tails of your letter sug­gest that the is­sues at work have been oc­cur­ring for some time and have de­te­ri­o­rated to an ex­treme level. When fear and anx­i­ety are so preva­lent as a re­sult of the bul­ly­ing be­hav­iour of your boss, it is no won­der that nerves are frayed and peo­ple are leav­ing. With so much staff turnover within the last few years, I can’t imag­ine that se­nior man­age­ment hasn’t no­ticed, but bul­lies are usu­ally quite clever in ei­ther cam­ou­flag­ing their be­hav­iour and/ or blam­ing oth­ers.

How­ever, you sug­gest that noth­ing has been done about your con­cerns in spite of the fact that you have fol­lowed pro­to­col and have raised your con­cerns at pro­gres­sively higher lev­els in the chain of com­mand.

Q: As a new em­ployee, I was trained by a co-worker. How­ever, this in­di­vid­ual was and con­tin­ues to be rude to me. Al­though she be­haves well in front of our boss, when he is not around, she com­plains about ev­ery­one and ev­ery­thing and is rude to oth­ers. Peo­ple are un­com­fort­able around her as she is poi­son­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. Should I speak to my boss about this?

A: First of all, you have ev­ery right to ask this per­son to stop crit­i­ciz­ing oth­ers. Ask to speak to her di­rectly. Find a quiet cor­ner or meet her for lunch. In­di­cate that you are con­cerned about some is­sues in the work­place and the need for a har­mo­nious work en­vi­ron­ment. Point out to the in­di­vid­ual how you are feel­ing when you hear this col­league com­plain­ing and make her aware of how you see this af­fect­ing oth­ers. Ask the col­league to be more cau­tious about crit­i­ciz­ing other col­leagues.

Hope­fully, this gen­tle and car­ing ap­proach will help the col­league to

As a re­sult, I agree it is prob­a­bly time to take that last dif­fi­cult, but cru­cial step.

Since there is no HR man­ager in your or­ga­ni­za­tion, I sug­gest that your group take your con­cerns to the chair­man of the per­son­nel com­mit­tee for your or­ga­ni­za­tion and/or di­rectly to the board chair­man. Your con­cerns must be stated clearly, with a de­scrip­tion of in­ci­dents and dates and the im­pact on in­di­vid­u­als and the work­place. This in­for­ma­tion must in­clude first-hand ac­counts and not ru­mours or third-hand sto­ries.

I sug­gest that you re­quest an or­ga­ni­za­tion re­view of your depart­ment be con­ducted by an out­side party to con­firm your state­ments and to as­sess the or­ga­ni­za­tion cul­ture. Do not make any threats that will cause fur­ther prob­lems. Ap­peal to the need to pre­vent the poor pub­lic re­la­tions that could arise from the ex­po­sure of bul­ly­ing be­hav­iour in such a pres­ti­gious or­ga­ni­za­tion. Be open to dis­cussing res­o­lu­tions.

I am al­ways sad to learn that lead­er­ship bul­ly­ing still oc­curs in a world where good lead­er­ship is de­fined by shared vi­sion, team­work and col­lab­o­ra­tive prob­lem solv­ing. Good luck! If your ac­tions do not bring res­o­lu­tion to your is­sue, there is no choice but to seek other em­ploy­ment as quickly as you can. think twice be­fore speak­ing. How­ever, if the be­hav­iour con­tin­ues, then ap­proach your man­ager. When meet­ing the man­ager, iden­tify the is­sue and ask for help in deal­ing with the col­league. This alerts your man­ager to the is­sue with­out seem­ing to be a com­plainer your­self. The next step is up to the man­ager. Q: As a small-busi­ness owner, I love my work, but I’ve no­ticed that I’ve started to ex­pe­ri­ence some anx­i­ety lately as I just can’t seem to get any un­in­ter­rupted time for my­self for my fam­ily. I worry about un­fin­ished tasks and have started at­tend­ing to my work­place on the week­end. Do you have any sug­ges­tions? A: First of all, congratulations on be­ing a small-busi­ness owner! How­ever, two of the prob­lems own­ers of­ten en­counter as they grow is, a) when is the ap­pro­pri­ate time to hire ad­di­tional staff? and b) what needs to be del­e­gated? Based on your cor­re­spon­dence, this seems to be part of your prob­lem. Be­cause you ap­pear to be do­ing mul­ti­ple jobs in ad­di­tion to lead­er­ship, you are not leav­ing your­self time to do any strate­gic think­ing. In fact, you are caught up in dayto-day is­sues.

Look around you, write down all of the tasks and ac­tiv­i­ties that you are en­gaged in. Group them and then de­ter­mine if you can cre­ate a new job and hire some­one to take those items off your busy plate. Eval­u­ate where you spend your time and de­ter­mine what ad­di­tional items you can move into the new job de­scrip­tion. Next, hire an em­ployee to do the new job you have now out­lined.

It is im­por­tant to note that when the new em­ployee does come on board, you need to train them well and hard as it is, let them do their job. Af­ter all, there is noth­ing worse than an en­tre­pre­neur who in­ter­feres in the work tasks that have been as­signed.

If time man­age­ment still seems to be a prob­lem, set aside a block of time on your calendar for con­cen­trated think­ing. Avoid an­swer­ing the phone, tune out the email no­ti­fi­ca­tions on your com­puter and put the Black­Berry on a nearby shelf. Fi­nally, try to re­serve two time slots a day to re­turn phone mes­sages and be sure your voice­mail states your in­ten­tion.

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