PracticeConsultingPressing the right buttons

Pressing the right buttons

The American chief executive who sent an email to his managers last month rudely lambasting them for not working their staff hard enough has no doubt learnt a lesson.

Now the email has been forwarded to tens of millions of people, his company’s share price has slumped, and it has certainly not done itself any favours when it comes to attracting new staff.

This is a cautionary tale for all managers, as email allows edicts and instructions to be sent at speed. So much so that many victims of this management style feel they don’t have enough time to read them all, let alone act on them.

This is particularly the case in larger organisations where staff receive instructions from a variety of managers. Those who indulge in this sort of mismanagement do themselves no favours when it comes to gaining respect and cooperation from staff. Nor do they gain from the valuable exchange of information that comes from face-to-face interaction.

They should also be aware of something the US chief executive did not think of. Their underlings have a powerful weapon to prevent such abuse. It’s called the ‘forward’ button.

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