Dear Aunty B,
I am the founder of a number of businesses and attend their Christmas parties (I am on their boards).
A few staff got drunk at one of the Christmas parties and told me things that I know they will regret when they wake up the next day. Most of it was silly innocent stuff.
But one staff member told me he hated the office Christmas party, all speeches were a “wank”, the strategy was wrong and he was disengaged with the company.
It has been a hard year and that particular company has undergone a major restructure.
But I was surprised to hear this from a very well paid, long serving employee, as the new strategy is working well and we are pleased with this company’s future direction.
Do I tell the CEO what his staff member said?
Or do I dismiss this as end of year rubbish from a drunk staff member and not get involved in operational issues?
Do I Tell,
Dear Do I Tell,
Are you nuts? Of course you tell.
There is a disengaged employee in one of your companies who does not agree with that company’s future direction. These people can be a ball and chain around the neck of your company, dragging it down as you try and pull it along.
You just got a taste of it at the Christmas party. Imagine what it’s like working beside this staff member as he tells people he is disengaged and team building social functions are a waste of time?
It’s not an operational issue and so by rights you should stay out of it. But too bad. You have some useful intelligence, so use it. Have a discussion with the CEO about the company post restructure. Is “Disengaged” the odd one out or are the majority of staff feeling the same way? Does more work need to go into communication and team building post restructure?
If Disengaged is on his own, then the CEO needs to have a serious chat to him. It might be better for him if he finds another company where he can re-engage and agrees with the strategy.
Be aware that often long serving employees can be the worst when there is a restructure. They would prefer the company to stay the same because it suits them that way. They have no understanding of the bigger issues it takes to run a company, especially in these difficult times.
But it is very important next year to have the right people on your bus, and that includes being passionate advocates of your company and believing in its future.
Lastly congratulations for getting your companies through a very difficult year.
Your Aunty B