Author Topic: Email response to an employee  (Read 6860 times)

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MissManager

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Email response to an employee
« on: September 26, 2012, 07:59:26 PM »
I need some help with a response email to an employee.

Here is her email to the management team (The only change I made was bosses name to [Bossman]):

hi,
I am very concerned here as to why I keep getting denied
shifts. yes, I understand that we have a lot of workers. I need and trying to understand why I try to pick up for a shift I get denied every time? I am confused because so many people want shifts right now and you give it to someone that is working a double with all the other shifts they have this week. when I get two shifts a week. I don't see how this is fair. and I want you to ask yourself the same thing. I'm trying to work here that's why you hired me. i don't want to feel punished every time I try to pick up a shift or don't even worry about picking one up because I won't get one anyway. Is that a way to feel about a job you love doing and try your hardest at but hardly get any positive feedback? I know I go to school and can't work that much, but I don't see how that should revolve around me trying to pick up shifts when I can and get denied. [Bossman] your the one who told me to pick up shifts when I can, but seems like I do with no results here. I am just trying to understand the situation and would really like if someone responded with a good answer.

thanks

a. 



So far my response is:

A,

Please bear in mind that you are not being denied shift, other people are being approved. We look at skill level as it relates to the shift, potential for over time, and general availability when making the decision to approve a shift. During your meeting with [Bossman] and me you were told that with your limited availability you would only received about 2 shifts a week. You are correct you were encouraged to pick up shifts, but I would like to point out that during the month of September there were over 60 bartender shifts available to pick up including the one that you released, and you only attempted to pick up 4. More of an effort throughout the month instead of waiting until the last week of the month would have most likely produced a better success rate in shift approvals.

Please feel free to contact me with any other concerns.

Thanks


A is a poor employee partially related to inexperience and also the fact that she's not to bright. Her argument about the employee being approved the double is valid but A still wouldn't have been approved to pick up that shift (there were 4 people interested in picking up that shift.... actually all of the shifts she attempted to pick up). But realistically why we (the management team) approve shifts isn't available for her scrutiny.

Anythoughts on my response... any thing I need to add or subtract? If more clarification is needed please let me know.

LEMon

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 08:15:57 PM »
I'm trying to understand some details:

Based on her skill level, availability, other's skill levels, number of requests for shifts, etc., is she likely to ever get approved for what she is asking?  It just seems that if four better folk are seeking hours, her chances are nil.

Do you want to give her this much detail into how shifts are assigned? 

If she keeps trying/does what you suggest, is she likely to get the hours she wants?

All of this would impact how I would change your reply.
(I couldn't read her email.  Too much blend together to make sense.)

SleepyKitty

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 08:43:43 PM »
Personally, I would not address why she's not getting shifts in the e-mail. Instead, I would give her some suggestions for how she can get shifts. I do like your opening line about her not being denied, but others being approved. Something like:

A,
I'm glad you came to me with your concerns. To improve your chances of getting shifts, try to pick up shifts during X time of the month as well as towards the end. It would also improve your chances to start working on X skill, and to look at your overall availability to see if there's any other times that could open up. There were over 60 shifts available to pick up during X month; by increasing the number you attempt to pick up from 4, you will have a better chance.

I would call her in for a brief meeting about the negative things and address that as well, just at a later time. As a manager, you need to make sure she's aware of where she's failing at meeting your standards and give her a chance to meet them. And if, given her availability and skill set, she can only realistically pick up X number of open shifts, tell her that straight out so that she doesn't have unreasonable expectations for what she get. Frankly, her e-mail sounds immature, entitled, and petulant, so you might want to address her general work attitude as well as something that's not going to help her get approved for shifts. It will be an awkward conversation to have, but necessary.

MissManager

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 09:19:54 PM »
The entire bartending staff is seeking more hours... So honestly the only way I would approve a shift for her would be if she was the only only one trying to pick it up. Which could happen, but with the way the group is fighting for shift probably won't be anytime soon or at least not with a "good" shift.

Do I want to give her as much detail? Yes and no... Those are the things I look at with every employee when scheduling (I schedule all of the staff) and I want the best people (skill wise and attitude) in the position where they'll make the most money. I do want my staff to know that if that do a great job at work they'll be rewarded with great shifts and great shifts mean great money when  you work for tips.

If she started to show improvement with her attitude (her if you don't give me what I want then I just wont event try comments in her email definitely don't), an interest in improving her skills behind the bar (which she hasn't), and opens up her availability she could get more shifts. I never limit anybody they only limit themselves.

Would you convey to her that her email is difficult to read and she should proof read anything she wants taken seriously? Because I completely agree she sent this email last Friday and I'm just now responding because it took me SO long to sort through to the bullet points... Not that its that difficult, but that I have better things to do with my time.




LeveeWoman

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 09:27:21 PM »
The entire bartending staff is seeking more hours... So honestly the only way I would approve a shift for her would be if she was the only only one trying to pick it up. Which could happen, but with the way the group is fighting for shift probably won't be anytime soon or at least not with a "good" shift.

Do I want to give her as much detail? Yes and no... Those are the things I look at with every employee when scheduling (I schedule all of the staff) and I want the best people (skill wise and attitude) in the position where they'll make the most money. I do want my staff to know that if that do a great job at work they'll be rewarded with great shifts and great shifts mean great money when  you work for tips.

If she started to show improvement with her attitude (her if you don't give me what I want then I just wont event try comments in her email definitely don't), an interest in improving her skills behind the bar (which she hasn't), and opens up her availability she could get more shifts. I never limit anybody they only limit themselves.

Would you convey to her that her email is difficult to read and she should proof read anything she wants taken seriously? Because I completely agree she sent this email last Friday and I'm just now responding because it took me SO long to sort through to the bullet points... Not that its that difficult, but that I have better things to do with my time.

Yes, I would do that. There is no excuse for an adult to send such an e-mail.

HorseFreak

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2012, 09:29:47 PM »
Oh boy, she sounds like my assistant, Annie, who wants to do all sorts of complicated things without grasping the basics. It is REALLY hard to get through to these kinds of people (the ignorant and entitled) so be aware that she might come back with more whining that ignores everything you say.

I like SleepyKitty's response, but I think yours is fine as well. Make sure to document all issues and how she is improving (or not) so it's easier to get rid of her later if needed.

grannyclampettjr

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 10:01:10 PM »
Give her a list of ways to bump herself up the list, but only if you intend to follow through if *she* follows through. 

Because if she does all you ask and still doesn't get shifts...well...

Deetee

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 10:09:26 PM »
Minor suggestion. I would start off the email with something like "I have considered your email where you have asked how you can increase the number of shifts you work and also asked why you did not receive some of the additional shifts you requested" It helps her feel understood and makes it clear you are addressing her concerns.

Pippen

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 03:31:32 AM »
I think she needs a face to face meeting rather than an email. She sounds aggrieved and confused and a few minutes explaining it to her would be worthwhile.

AustenFan

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 04:40:29 AM »
My computer ate my reply right as I went to hit post.  >:(

My problem with your email is that it doesn't actually address anything, and it's very negative. She is looking to pick up 50% more shifts than you hired her to do, based on your recommendation, so a substantial increase. The amount of shifts you had available overall shouldn't override her efforts, and isn't her problem. Are any of your other staff looking to increase their workload by that much? You say she needs more experience, and it looks like she's actively trying to get it. She says she loves her job and is trying and you say nothing to acknowledge that or encourage her in any way. What is her incentive to keep trying? You criticize her attitude, but how long is she supposed to bang her head against the same wall? She has no idea why she's being passed over, and you haven't done anything to help her understand. I think the situation hasn't been effectively managed and that your proposed email can only breed resentment and make things worse.

I think your response should say something like: "I noticed that you applied for additional shifts last month and commend you on your effort. Unfortunately we needed a more experienced bartender for those times, it was not a matter of trying to deny you work. If you let us know at the beginning of each month when you are available for extra hours it gives us more flexibility and I'm sure we can figure something out that will benefit us both. I appreciate that you love the job, your willing attitude has not gone unnoticed. If you would like to review your availability so that we can look at giving you more shifts on an ongoing basis please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks, MissManager."

On the grammatical issue, I think you should leave it alone for now. I'm sure when you read your drafted reply you'll see some errors of your own, so you understand that when you're upset/rushed things don't come out as intended.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 04:44:00 AM by AustenFan »

Penguin_ar

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 06:56:47 AM »
I used to have the same problem when I did the roster- some people with very limited availability didn't see why they got less hours than someone with wide open availability, or why someone with wide open availability got hours during their limited availability.  So, if part of your workplace' policy is to schedule as a % of availability (more or less), you may want to mention that in more detail- new workers especially often don;t understand the concept.  So for example:  "We try and be fair to everyone, so we schedule shifts based on a % of availability, roughly 50%- so for example you are only available weekday evenings for four hours each night, ie20 hours per week, so you get around 10 hours, whereas we have several staff with completely open availability, ie70 hours a week, so they get around 35 hours work."

You also mention her lack of skill- unless you addressed that with her (several times) before, you may want to mention that too, but in a positive way, offering to help.  So based on your draft email:  "We look at skill level as it relates to the shift- sometimes we need more experienced staff, and you are still quite new. If you are interested, I can work with you on X and Y skill, and I recommend you check out Z website about making cocktails to further your knowledge.".   That puts the ball back in her court.

Margo

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 07:31:03 AM »
I thinkboth Sleepy Kitty and Penguin make good points.

I  think I would go with something like:

"A,

Thank you for your e-mail, in which you asked how you can increase the number of shifts you work, and why you did not receive some of the additional shifts you requested.
Please bear in mind that you are not being denied shift, other people are being approved. We have to try to select the most appropriate person for each shift, which includes looking at factors such as  skill level as it relates to the shift, potential for overtime, and general availability.

During your meeting with [Bossman] and me when you were hired, you were told that given your limited availability, you were only likely to receive about 2 shifts a week.

You are correct that you were encouraged to pick up shifts, but as you recognise, lots of other employees are also applying to pick up those extra shifts. Having checked the records, it looks as though you only applied for 4 extra shifts during September, out of 60 shifts which were available. If you are able to apply for more of the available shifts, and to apply for shifts more evenly through the whole of the month  instead of waiting until the last week of the month you will increase your chances of being approved for extra shifts. However, as he decisions about shifts are made based on what is best for the business, We cannot guarantee that you will be approved
Please feel free to contact me with any other concerns.

Thanks"

If there are specific areas where her skill are lacking, then I would add in something to make this clear, and to explain what she needs to do to change that - e.g. "At present,. you don't have experience of [relevant skill/skills] and you haven't yet reached the highest standard in relation to [other skills] If you wish to learn [relevant skill] you would need to speak to me or Bossman about [whatever training would be necessary]


I think it is legitimate to raise the issue about her e-mail but I would do that in a separate conversation, as it isn't directly relevant to the issue which she has raised (I assume that sending e-mails isn't part of her job?)

Cami

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2012, 09:48:32 AM »
The entire bartending staff is seeking more hours... So honestly the only way I would approve a shift for her would be if she was the only only one trying to pick it up. Which could happen, but with the way the group is fighting for shift probably won't be anytime soon or at least not with a "good" shift.

If that is the case, then tell her that -- as clearly and bluntly as you  put it above. Then she can decide if it's worth continuing to bang her head against the brick wall of the roster or seek more hours at another workplace.

Shoo

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2012, 10:00:08 AM »
The entire bartending staff is seeking more hours... So honestly the only way I would approve a shift for her would be if she was the only only one trying to pick it up. Which could happen, but with the way the group is fighting for shift probably won't be anytime soon or at least not with a "good" shift.

If that is the case, then tell her that -- as clearly and bluntly as you  put it above. Then she can decide if it's worth continuing to bang her head against the brick wall of the roster or seek more hours at another workplace.

I agree with that. 

And I have a question...   if you have so many employees trying to pick up extra shifts, why do you have so many employees?  Why not have fewer, full-time employees that you can depend on?

Giggity

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Re: Email response to an employee
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2012, 10:10:46 AM »
I'm not a fan of corporate-speak like "please bear in mind that". Why not just start the sentence with what you want her to know?
Words mean things.