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Negative Communication

Negative Communication

100 word response to both. Opinion only. No references required.

I have written several negative letters in my career. Most recently, I wrote an email to my supervisor addressing all of the tasks I was performing that were not in my current job description. I expressed my interest in performing the tasks on a long term basis but only if I would be adequately compensated for my efforts. The additional work I was asked to do belongs to a coworker who is not meeting the standards of our organization and while my leadership decides how to deal with her, I was asked to pick up her workload. Even though I have the experience needed to perform my coworker’s job, our job descriptions and rate of pay are not the same. So, when I had to address the situation with my leadership, I chose the direct approach. I simply stated that I could not continue to work without being compensating for my efforts. My supervisor appreciated my honesty and offered me a higher paying position.

Having conducted numerous employee reviews, this topic reminds me of these messages that needed to be understood by the employee, and productive by the end. While not all reviews are going to be negative in nature, most will have elements of improvement needed by the employee, and likely the supervisor as well. I have found that framing these reviews in a sandwich method has always been an effective way to communicate where an employee stands, but also understanding where we both need to adjust in order to accomplish our best possible work. Beginning with the productive points of the employees work is the best way to start these messages, and work down to areas where improvement is needed. Even in the sections identifying where improvement is needed, it’s key to identify points in these areas where the employee is on point, or even excelling, while still noting the improvement needed. The end of the message should be about the methods that both employee and supervisor will employ in order to build on the momentum that the employee has already started. This provides a positive message about the needed improvement that will ease any negative discussions that come out of the information.

In my experience, this method works best, but still has it’s downsides as well. At times, I have gone too far into the positives of the employees work, and they walked away without a clear understanding of what areas they needed to improve upon. In the end however, the framework of these messages allows future discussions around the topics of improvement to go much more smoothly