I’m feeling a little disappointed and I hope you can help. I own a small professional services firm. Times have been very tough over the last few years, but in the past six months we actually turned a modest profit! My partner and I wanted to acknowledge our five employees' hard work with bonus checks for everyone, which we distributed, each with a short personal note thanking people for working for our mutual success. I handed out the envelopes just before the holiday weekend, but didn’t announce what was in them, or make much fuss. No one opened the envelopes in front of me - we all work in an open office. My disappointment is that since that time, no one has acknowledged the bonuses or said thank you in any way. Am I wrong in this expectation? Should I have handled this differently?
Where’s the appreciation?
Dear Where’s the appreciation?:
I do not think your expectation is out of line. Ideally, it would have been very nice and appropriate for your employees to have given you and your partner a verbal or written/email thank-you. That being said, from the employee perspective, their hard work and dedication to you and the firm serve as their thank-you and the bonus is your thank-you to them for all that they have done to contribute to the success of the firm.
You may have received some positive feedback/appreciation if you had given out the bonuses during one on ones where you would have explained the basis for them. However, even with this scenario, you could have run the risk of not getting the response you had expected/would have liked.
Bonuses have value, but like any perk, some will like them more than others. If you have flexibility in how you share the company’s success with your employees, consider giving each employee a choice between a bonus check and something else like a plane ticket or comp time. And if possible, you could ask the employees for their suggestions.
My boss wants us to keep him apprised of what’s going on with our clients in a timely manner and on a regular basis. I don’t have a problem with this; I understand why he expects it and I see the importance and advantage of keeping him in the loop. But what I don’t like are the times we’re snapped at or greeted with a lukewarm, if not tepid, reception when we need to update him. We never know who we’re going to get, the hot or cold guy, but he insists we tell him everything we have going on. Any suggestions?
Frustrated with boss’s negative moods
Dear Frustrated with boss’s negative moods:
As much as I wish it was not true, your boss’s mood, or anyone else’s you deal with at work, is going to be a variable you must contend with in your communications. When you know your boss is in one of his moods, email him your information and mark it as time sensitive, if in fact it is. Hopefully, this will prevent you from catching his wrath and he will let you know if and when he wants to talk to you about the information. Hang in there!
I was selected for a transfer that quite a few people had put in for. Even though I know I was equally, if not better, qualified for the position, there were a lot of people hoping that someone else they all knew would get it. Consequently, since I’ve arrived, I’ve felt like an outsider and have overheard people snicker that I was selected because of who I knew, not because of what I know and can do. As much as I know that’s not true, I can’t help but be ticked off and worried that my reputation is ruined before anyone gets to know me and my work.
Over the snickers
Dear Over the snickers:
I understand your situation and sympathize with you. I have no doubt that most people in the workplace have either had the same or a similar experience and/or are familiar with people who have. Unfortunately, whenever there is a transfer, you can count on someone thinking that someone else or he/she should have been selected. Just give one hundred percent (100%); let your work product speak for you and it will become a non-issue in no time. Best of luck!
© 2011 Rozanne R. Worrell