Business Problem: Responding to criticism from staff
I am a director of a medium-sized company. I received an email from one of my managers heavily criticising a recent decision made by me. I later found out it was sent to me by mistake and had been meant for one of the manager’s colleagues. The manager has apologised, says he’s deeply embarrassed and the message had been sent ‘in the spur of the moment’. What should I do?
Do nothing. Accept his apologies as he's done entirely the right thing and will now go out of his way to not offend you further.
Julian Middleton, Freeth Cartwright, Leicester
You can consider the e-mail as a disciplinary matter and you can certainly discipline your manager and formally record this in his personnel file. You may choose to give a written warning in accordance with your disciplinary procedures. This may communicate to your manager that you will not tolerate unprofessional conduct particularly when it comes to your authority.
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Faizal Essat, Andersons Solicitors, Leicester
An environment which fosters constructive criticism whether informally or by appraisal is highly desirable. It's best, of course, not done by mistake. View his criticism with objectivity and do not allow it to affect your relationship with him.
Chris Greenwell, Gateley, Leicester
Move on, he's had the grace to apologise. He won't be doing that again in a hurry and tell him that you wouldn't want your great working relationship to suffer, so next time, he should talk to you about it.
Nicky Stephen, Nicky Stephen Marketing, Hoby
Suggest to the manager that if in the future he is unhappy about any of the decisions you make, the matter should be discussed openly to avoid any future conflicts for the benefit of the company.
Rishi Chandarana, BPC Chandarana + Co, Leicester
I suggest you resolve this informally by meeting with him. At this stage, formal disciplinary proceedings could disrupt your working relationship. You should explain his conduct is unacceptable and how disappointed you are he has sought to undermine your authority.
Phil Pepper, Cummins Solicitors, Enderby