Dear Aunty B,
I have been forced to make a position redundant. I planned to do it a few weeks after Easter. But the guy that is going is matey with the office manager, and she told him accidentally.
He wanted to book holidays and she told him it wasn’t a good idea, and then he guessed.
He packed his belongings and left before I even had a chance to talk to him! We are a close knit team so you can imagine the atmosphere in the office.
I don’t want to unsettle the office further by taking action, but I feel really bad about what has happened. How do I improve the feeling around the office? And do I have a farewell for him even though he walked out the door?
Phew. What a stuff up. But it’s not your stuff up. It is your office manager’s stuff up. Your office manager is way out of line. Forget how she told your employee. The simple fact is she told him, which is a massive breach of confidence.
You should be able to rely on your officer manager to keep confidences. Call her in and do a Kevin Rudd. Tell her you are giving her a warning and it will be on her file. Unfortunately you will now have trust issues with her going forward.
Your strategy for the future is to calm the office down. Have a strategy meeting where you talk about the company’s vision and values. Make sure everyone is very clear about the important role they play in the company going forward. As soon as you have a win, make sure you celebrate it.
Lastly, contact the retrenched worker and apologize. Offer him a reference and services of an outplacement firm. Depending on how the conversation goes, you could ask him if he wants to come in and have a farewell lunch one day. (Stay away from the pub.)
Lastly you have to buck up and move on!
Your Aunty B
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