It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. I can’t get a former coworker to respond to me
I left the organization I worked for several months ago. I did not part on good terms with this organization; a false allegation had been made against me, I wasn’t given a chance to tell my side, and I resigned. I didn’t get to talk to anyone before my departure.
There was someone who I wanted to stay in touch with there, and I have tried reaching out to them through email but do not get a response. During the time I worked there (more than three years), I had a very good relationship with this person and I looked up to them very much. I have been stumped as to why they do not respond to my emails and don’t know what to do.
I’d assume that it’s the “not parting on good terms” that’s in play here. They either believe the allegation that was made or don’t like the way you left (for example, if you resigned without giving notice), or they don’t want to get involved, or they think it will be harmful to their own standing or reputation to continue to be in touch with you.
I don’t think there’s much else you can do here. You’ve reached out and they’re not getting back to you, and you pretty much have to leave it there. Depending on the details of your departure, it’s possible that reaching out to them with a reasonably concise, not-angry-sounding email explaining what happened could change their stance, but it’s also possible that it could just reinforce the wall they already have up; it’s hard to say without knowing the details or what this person is like.
Basically, though, when you leave on bad terms, there’s a good chance it will affect your relationships with people there (even if it wasn’t your fault).
2. Our boss never submits us for our employee recognition newsletter
What are your thoughts on employee recognition newsletters? The HR department at my workplace sends these out on a quarterly basis, and I’m starting to question how they are put together. They appear to be a place to note employee achievements (either work- or non-work-related) as well as list new hires and retirements. It seems as though HR relies entirely on information provided by department heads for these newsletters, and I am starting to think this can lead to people and/or accomplishments being left out if the department head isn’t aware of an achievement or forgets to submit it.
My department has particularly low morale, and the department head doesn’t seem interested in putting much effort into his submittals. At one point he asked me to write up an achievement for him to submit. I emailed him a short paragraph, and then he forgot to submit it! This type of attitude from him means the submittals from my department are scant and slanted towards 1-2 people, and we actually are the biggest department.
I wondered what your thoughts in general are about these types of things, and also if you think it would be worthwhile to suggest to HR that they set up an online submittal form that anyone could use?
I’m neutral on them in general; there are good ones and there are bad ones, and it really depends on how they’re done. But in your particular case, what would happen if you and your coworkers just submitted information yourselves?
I do think it could worthwhile to suggest to HR that they set up an online submission form. They might have reasons not to want to do that (maybe they want managers vetting submissions for accuracy or something, who knows), but there’s no reason not to suggest it to them.
3. Job offers made by email or FedEx
I’ve been at my current job for nearly three years. When I was being hired, I simply received an offer letter via FedEx rather than a phone call. I thought it was odd at the time but figured that it must have been a miscommunication between HR and the hiring manager or something.
I am now in the position of hiring someone and have selected someone. I’ve found out that HR will be simply emailing the candidate am offer and copying me. Is this normal? I’ve had several jobs and have always received a phone call so this is very strange to me.
Some companies do indeed do it that way. But you’re right to want to make the offer yourself; the way you extend the offer can be part of your recruitment strategy, because it gives you the chance to tell the candidate how excited you are about potentially bringing them onboard and why and to sell the job a bit. That’s a lot more compelling than a sterile written offer that shows up in a form email from HR (let alone hearing about it for the first time via a FedEx package).
Just because this is your company’s default doesn’t mean you can’t do it differently. I’d try telling HR that you’d prefer to make the candidate the offer yourself, over the phone, and then have them follow-up with the written offer and other paperwork. If you have a really bureaucratic and rigid HR department, they may refuse — but it’s a very reasonable thing to ask.
4. I’m frustrated with how my employer is handling a promotion I applied for
I recently applied for an internal job and was told that I would hear sometime in late December. Late December rolled around and I did hear, but they said that they would be extending the search due to an inadequate candidate pool, but that I would still be considered for the position after they interview more candidates.
I’m feeling pretty frustrated by this, but I’m not sure if I’m justified. I have worked at this organization for five years in an entry-level role, and I need a change – I’m exhausted in my current role and am constantly being given additional responsibilities, including covering for a coworker who was out on leave for the past six months for no additional pay. To do all that I have done for the company (I know that I am not exactly objective, but I know I have contributed in many ways that my coworkers haven’t) and then to be left in limbo – well, it stings, even if it isn’t in their control, and it really turns me off from continuing to give my all to this organization, even if it is in a promoted capacity.
Overall my employer is not the worst – I work a lot of hours but the benefits are good (even though the salary isn’t awesome) and I have some good work friends, though not as many as I did when I first started, due to the high turnover of entry-level positions. I know that it’s still a recent development and that part of me is bitter, but in many ways this also feels like a “last straw” of sorts.
My question, I guess, is where do I go from here – should I assume I’m not being considered and conduct a full job search? How do I determine if I’m leaving because it’s time or if it’s out of spite? Do I just behave as if this never happened when there are colleagues and supervisors who were in my interview?
Start a job search. Not because you have no chance of getting this position, but because you have no guarantee of getting this position (and while “we need a bigger candidate pool” is a perfectly legitimate position, it also tells you that they’re not jumping to hire you).
Meanwhile, though, this is the exact wrong time to let frustration or bitterness stop you from working at a high level. You need to have a strong professional reputation for this job search, and it’s certainly not going to up your chances of that promotion if you start letting things slip. And for what it’s worth, they haven’t really done you wrong here: They shouldn’t use promotions as a reward for hard work in a different position because they have an obligation to find and hire the best person for the role. I’d try to see your frustration just as a sign that you’re done with this role and ready to move on to a new position, rather than as a marker that you’ve been mistreated here.
5. Can my company have a Monday-Sunday work week?
What defines the work week? We work five days on and three off, and our pay period runs Monday through Sunday. So there are weeks that our work week runs into a new pay week. We currently get paid over time for any hours worked over 40 Monday-Sunday. I am a commercial truck driver, and my typical work week is 50-60 hours.
It’s up to individual companies to decide how they want to define the seven-day work week (meaning that they can choose to start it on Sunday or Tuesday or Friday or whatever they want). It does need to be the same seven-day period each time; they can’t keep mixing it up to get out of paying overtime. Since your company is using the same work week consistently (always starting with Monday), it sounds like they’re compliant with the law.