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Dear Manager: There’s Something You Should Know


Robby

I’m here to tell you something about your employees. Not all of them, but some of them. In fact, these are some of your highest-ranking, most highly-compensated team members. I wish I didn’t have to be the one to break it to you, but there’s an ugly truth that you should know.

Some of your people don’t consistently return calls and emails.

Something You Should Know
© Flickr User torbakhopper

I know this because I make those phone calls. I send those emails. I reach out to people with questions but I don’t hear back, so I have to follow up.

Now, I know that employers aren’t obligated to call you back (and neither is anybody else.) And I’ve explained before that I’m not going to quit calling.

But if you’re a manager, a company owner, or an executive director, you might want to know if your employees aren’t able to return phone calls and emails. Here’s an old piece of wisdom that explains why:

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. –Luke 16:10

Returning phone calls, even to say “I’m not interested,” is a basic professional function. And if they can’t do the little things, why should anyone think they can do the big things?

I’ll never actually send this letter, but here’s the one in my mind:

Dear Manager,

I have been attempting to contact your employee NAME WITHHELD to discuss a possible business opportunity at NAME WITHHELD’S request. I understand that this may or may not be of interest to your firm.

However, despite multiple calls and emails over the course of the past several months, NAME WITHHELD has not been able to return my messages.

Again, I understand that the answer may be “no.” Since I am not able to get any response, however, I cannot determine that this is the case.

I thought you might want to know that members of your team are not returning phone calls which were made at their request. I do not know of the reason.

Nope, I’ll never send that one. But managers, you should know. And employees, just call me back and let me know if you’re interested or not.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, August 19 2014 » Corporate Culture, Leadership, Uncategorized

3 Responses

  1. Kristin Seed August 19 2014 @ 12:08 pm

    I’m wondering why you wouldn’t send the email. I think I might in the right situation.

  2. robbyslaughter August 19 2014 @ 2:50 pm

    Kristin, it's tempting to send. But I can't see how anything good would come out of it. Maybe the manager would respond, but it's likely that the employee in question would figure out that I'm the one who sent the note (these things never stay secret) and that would have a backlash.

    Or, the manager would ignore it too, and I'd get even more frustrated.

    In any case, thanks for the comment!

  3. Management Training October 22 2014 @ 8:38 am

    Couldn't agree more with you Robby. What is amazing to me is that more people return emails and not phone calls. To sum it up all of it boils down to an attitude as well as doing the best points in life wherein you address your fellow with dignity and regard.

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