The Ten Major Complaints of Employees #4


Ron has worked for a university as an adjunct communications professor for over 10 years. He has received glowing evaluations from his students, and is considered one of the best and most collegial colleagues by the full-time faculty. Recently, however, Ron was terribly embarrassed when he was approached by an adjunct from another department who asked Ron what was going on with his department’s complete change of curriculum. Ron stood there dumbfounded, and had nothing to say, since this was first time he was learning that the communications program was updating their entire curriculum. His colleague looked at him in amazement and said, “How could you not know about the changes when everyone else in the whole university is talking about it, and how it might affect other programs?”

Ron left that conversation and immediately went to the office of Molly Jones, the chair of the communications program. He walked into her office, and asked politely but with some alarm, “Why did I not know that we are changing our entire curriculum? Imagine how embarrassed I felt when I was just asked about it and had no clue we were undertaking this project.” The chair responded, “Quite honestly, Ron, as an adjunct, it is really not your concern. We did not tell any of the adjuncts. The senior full-time faculty are working on these changes, and I am sorry that word has spread throughout the university, because everyone gets paranoid when a department begins to play with its courses.”

Ron responded back, “It would have been nice if I and the other adjunct professors would have heard about it. I feel that you do not value my input and I resent being kept out of the loop, especially because I have been here over a decade.” Molly then excused herself and said she needed to move on with her day. That was Ron’s clue to leave her office.

What happened here unfortunately happens far too often in workplaces. We all want to feel part of our companies, out departments, our teams. We all want to believe that our input is important, and that we should know about whatever is happening. We feel we should be kept informed of changes, initiatives, and ideas, regardless of where we are in the channel of responsibility. Too often, senior management does not consider the long-range implications of not sharing information with employees. All employees want to feel that they are part of the team, and excluding them, alienates the employee and causes resentment and lowers morale. That is why it is essential for managers to keep all of their employees informed so that no one works in the dark and learns about important news second hand. Withholding important information from employees is a sure way to lose the loyalty of your employees, and no organization can afford to do that.

The team at The Pennington HR Group has over a decade of proven experience in facilitating dialogues between managers and their employees. We work with managers to help them better understand how their employees are feeling, and how the manager can be more effective in showing appreciation to all of the employees and giving them the validation that is so important to each of them.


© 2019 by The Pennington HR Institute

  • Black Facebook Icon