We don’t often talk about employee relations — so let’s do it more. A troubled reader submitted this:
How do you get people to stop making negative comments about other employees? I worked for a company last year and had several employees on my project who I discovered were trashing others — and they were really going after one employee in particular. I feel that these individuals are really doing damage as their actions could not only put the company in jeopardy of being sued but will also (and unfairly) hurt others’ chances of getting re-employed. (There has been a layoff at this firm).
Is making an example of a few of them the best way to handle the situation? What about company policy? Can that be used as a tool to get employees to understand that making negative comments about former and current employees will not be tolerated?
Some HR departments are so busy perusing job boards that they seem to have no time for their employees. Who is going to reprimand the bad dog?
Have you taken this to HR? Filed an anonymous complaint? Dropped a line on the culprits? Nothing changes unless someone acts. You can’t just wonder what to do next. First, follow policy and file a complaint with HR. Second, go around the structure (HR) and go directly to management. If you wonder whether it’s the right thing to do, ask yourself, If I were running this company, would I want to know?
If you believe your management does not want to know, either live with it or move on.
Let’s open this up. What should this troubled employee do?