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To think this is not an acceptable managerial style

38 replies

UseMyName · 06/04/2021 22:24

Telling your team the following -

They are adults and that shouldn’t have to chase them up.

That if they have system errors they will have to work from the office (currently all WFH)

For the team not to read their emails and they will tell them of there is anything they should know.

I don’t know if it’s just me and the pandemic stress or not.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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LouiseTrees · 06/04/2021 22:28

1 and 3 are fair in some contexts and not in others. 2 not so much right now, surely it’s the companies network that is the problem ( unless by system issues you actually mean internet connection issues?)


cabbageking · 06/04/2021 22:29

I don't think reminding staff they are adults and shouldn't need to be chased up is out of the norm depending on what and how much chasing up you are having to do.


HotPenguin · 06/04/2021 22:32

I think 1 and 2 are fine, 3 sounds odd, but maybe is being said because someone is spending a v long time reading email and not doing other work?


rawlikesushi · 06/04/2021 22:32

  1. Fair enough imo

2. If there are IT failures that mean WFH is not viable, either temporarily due to a system issue that will take time to sort, or the staff members' own wifi issues, then this is also fair enough.

3. If staff member is saying that they can't access emails on any home device due to aforementioned IT failings then surely saying 'I'll ring you if there's anything you need to know' is the best/only solution for now.

UseMyName · 06/04/2021 22:35

I’m surprised that everyone so far is ok with being told you are an adult - I find this very patronising.

For 2 not sure if it was WiFi or system issues as not myself.

3 - because they don’t want anytime being taken away from work so no emails are to be read.

OP posts:

LemonRoses · 06/04/2021 22:35

Depends on the context. It’s not the best way, but if someone is taking liberties, it might be appropriate.

If they are frequently having IT problems that nobody else is having and which stop delivery of their job, the solution might be to suggest using the office. I’d rather a staff member was honest and said they couldn’t sort childcare than lied about imaginary failing IT. At least we could try and come to an arrangement that worked if they were clear about the problem.

Similarly, if someone wasn’t doing the higher priority work but spent their time reading irrelevant emails, I might suggest re- prioritising.


YoBeaches · 06/04/2021 22:35

Entirely depends on the context as they are all reasonable requests in the right circumstances.

It's not really a managerial style though just requests?


UseMyName · 06/04/2021 22:37


Entirely depends on the context as they are all reasonable requests in the right circumstances.

It's not really a managerial style though just requests?

Not really request delivered more like orders.
OP posts:

mynameiscalypso · 06/04/2021 22:40


I’m surprised that everyone so far is ok with being told you are an adult - I find this very patronising.

For 2 not sure if it was WiFi or system issues as not myself.

3 - because they don’t want anytime being taken away from work so no emails are to be read.

Well it is patronising but it's also really fucking annoying when people don't do their jobs and you have to spend ages chasing them to do basic things.

HaveringWavering · 06/04/2021 22:41

It’s impossible to tell without context. For example, how much of the job can be done without reading emails? What do you mean by system errors?

Saying “you are adults” is the opposite of patronising, isn’t it?


GreenClock · 06/04/2021 22:43

It seems to me that someone is shirking and blaming IT, as well
as spending a ton of time perusing email rather than doing productive stuff. Instead of dealing with this miscreant directly, the manager is applying a blanket approach which will irritate and alienate the hard workers.


starfishmummy · 06/04/2021 22:48

I assume the firat has been prompted by something. Telling people that they shouldn't need to be chased up sounds reasonable although the "you are adults" bit is a bit OTT.

Not sure what you mean by "system failures". To me that would imply the whole IT for the business has gone down in which case it would depend on the nature of the business. No point going in if the office IT system has completely failed unless you can switch to non computer procedures. And if worling wothout the computer system is being done being in the offfice is probably essential.
If you mean that someone's home internet has gone down or that their computer is broken, and cant be fixed within a reasonable period then going to the office would seem fair.

Last one seems a bit odd, unless there are a lot of emails and management are doing a quick summary. Or maybe they are being sarcastic!


MissMarks · 06/04/2021 22:49

Manager here. Sometimes staff continuously take the piss. Sometimes being nice doesn’t work and you have to be brutal, play them at their own game.


Rupertpenrysmistress · 06/04/2021 22:49

It's tricky as a manager I have to chase my staff to do the basics sometimes, and it is really frustrating, it's the same thing time and time again.
Agree it's not a managerial style just requests. If you are adhering to all of these things there is no problem.


Merryoldgoat · 06/04/2021 22:51

It depends on the job and context.

  1. Fine if you have people not performing at the required level and needing excessive handholding

2. Depends on what your work set up is like - I can work safely at home or workplace so if I was having IT issues it would be reasonable to expect me to go into the workplace

3. Depends on your role. I could not perform my job without email. I know others who could so, again, context is all.

rawlikesushi · 06/04/2021 22:51

It does sound as if someone is regularly (1) needing chasing, (2) blaming IT for lack of work, (3) blaming 'reading my emails' for lack of productivity.

If they don't like managers taking this time then all they have to do is meet deadlines and do their work.


Moondust001 · 06/04/2021 22:52

This is going to be a hugely unpopular opinion - especially with the OP. Is it acceptable as a managerial style? Yes. And if you don't like it you know what you should do. It actually isn't relevant whether you, or I, or 367 Mumsnetters like it - tough luck, it's lawful so get over it.

But for my pennies worth - I cannot imagine ever needing to tell a member of my staff that they are adults and shouldn't need to be chased up. But if I happened to need to tell them that it would the writing on the wall for far more serious issues than suggesting they need to measure up.

If there is a reason why they cannot work from home then it really doesn't matter what that issue is - they will need to go to an office to work. They are all grown ups so don't need me to tell them that anyway.

I have no idea whether they should or shouldn't be reading their emails because I don't know what the emails say. But I would be very disturbed if reading their emails meant they weren't actually doing their jobs!

I don't think it is patronising. I think it is very concerning that people need to be told to do their jobs. But then, if we were talking about something as serious as this sounds, I probably wouldn't be using a passive- aggressive approach like this. I would be booking everyone 121's for performance management. An approach you may like less.


ChristinaYang10 · 06/04/2021 22:54

It’s hard to tell if number 3 is reasonable without more knowledge of the job. Where I work this would be simply nonsensical.
Number 1 would be patronising and annoying if it came out of nowhere, but it sounds more likely that it’s in response to the manager having to spend time chasing people for things that they should just be doing.
Number 2 it’s also hard to say without knowing the errors, and covid gives an additional dimension to whether it’s reasonable or not.


Theshoepeople · 06/04/2021 22:54

The phrasing 'you are adults' isn't great, but really it's just saying 'you are all capable of working independently so do it'. That's not unreasonable in a lot of contexts.

The email thing is a bit weird. Work emails are work. If they weren't to be read, they wouldn't be sent. If a manager told me I couldn't read my emails id ask if they were in agreement with me putting an out of office reply saying that emails sent to this account would not be read. If they weren't happy with that, then they're not being honest.


UseMyName · 06/04/2021 22:57

Thank you @Moondust001 yes passive aggressive is how it feels, and we do al have regular 121s.

OP posts:

minisoksmakehardwork · 06/04/2021 22:57

So they're being told on the one hand to behave like adults, but on the other that they will be given any information they need instead of reading emails which have been sent to said adults.

Sounds like someone just doesn't know how to manage people tbh. Points one and three contradict each other.

Point two sounds reasonable. If people are continuing to work from home but their home networks aren't compatible with work systems, they can no longer work from home and need to be back in the office.


Springhat · 06/04/2021 23:01

I think it sounds like there’s a concern that the team are not pulling their weight. Having to chase people for work they are supposed to do reminds me of my kids - I do expect people who are being paid to do their job. Sounds like people are using poor IT and reading emails are excuses for not doing work. Must be frustrating to deal with.


Moondust001 · 06/04/2021 23:09


Thank you *@Moondust001* yes passive aggressive is how it feels, and we do al have regular 121s.

I think you may have missed my point. If I needed to have such conversations with members of my team, that they are not doing their jobs, then they would be in formal procedures that would result in them exiting said jobs if they didn't improve. I wouldn't do the passive/aggressive thing. But many managers may not be comfortable with the more direct approach and hope you all get the hint.

It's just an observation, but I'd lay bets than half these people would also say that they can also work as effectively, or more effectively, from home, when managers are clearly saying that isn't the case.

You all may be being told this badly, but the message is clear - you are not performing in your jobs and you need to buck up. Like I said, my style would be far more direct.

LemonSwan · 06/04/2021 23:17

I am sure its been a stressful day for all coming back off bank holiday.

I would put it down to a bad day and move on


MadeOfStarStuff · 06/04/2021 23:20

I don’t think 1 and 2 are unreasonable. If system issues mean someone can’t work effectively from home then they should work from the office. It is so frustrating when people/companies claim they can’t do something important because they’re working from home. And staff are adults and shouldn’t need constant chasing to do the job they’re paid to do. Of course everyone is human and forgets things or makes mistakes occasionally, but if it’s bad enough that the manager is constantly chasing them, it’s too often!

3 is more unreasonable because emails can be kept and referred back to and it doesn’t rely on one person being in and briefing others on what they need to know.

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