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Question: I’m having a hard time with a thin-skinned employee who always seems to have a complaint. The reason I’m writing is because not only does he share his complaints verbally, he likes to compose lengthy e-mails in which he carefully documents what people are supposedly doing to him. When he finds the time to write these things, I don’t know. I wonder if he works this hard on his jobrelated correspondence. Last week, in response to another perceived slight, he fired off an e-mail to me (I’m the HR Manager) and cc’d a number of other managers in the chain of command, including his boss. Subsequently, his boss crafted a very sarcastic reply. Unfortunately, she hit “reply to all” and sent her message to everyone that he had sent the original e-mail to, including the unhappy employee himself, who is now indicating that he’s going to file a formal grievance because his boss is harassing and publicly embarrassing him. What do you think I should do?

Answer: As we all know all too well, e-mail has become a pervasive forum for documenting conversations, advancing agendas, defending perspectives, etc. Any employee who relishes in saying, “I told you so,” has a most powerful tool at his/her fingertips for doing so.

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About the Author

Daniel A. Schroeder, Ph.D. is president of Brookfield based Organization Development Consultants Inc. ( He can be reached at 262-827-1901 or Read More »

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