The Ten Major Complaints of Employees #5


Nancy has been working for a new public relations agency for about three weeks, and all was going well until this past long weekend. Nancy was given an important account right before the holidays and she has serviced that account quite well, often putting in extra hours to get out important posts on social media and press releases to the national press. Monday through Friday she has been available to anyone who calls her about the client, and has quickly responded.

However, over the weekend, a number of inquiries from the press were made, and Nancy was away visiting her family. She had told her boss Alex that should would be away, and that she would not be available. When several of the press members were not getting called back from Nancy, they decided to call Alex on his cell, and find out why they were not being responded to. After all, they had deadlines to meet. Alex ended up handling the inquiries.

When everyone arrived back in the office this morning, Alex called Nancy into his office to let her know how frustrated he was that she did not make herself available to handle the press inquiries. Nancy reminded Alex that she had told him that she would not be available. Alex was not satisfied with that response, and began to berate Nancy for not giving 100% to the job and being available whenever it was necessary, because that is the nature of the PR game. Alex then told Nancy that it can never happen again, and if a client calls over the weekend or any hour of the night, she must immediately address the call.

Nancy left the meeting very angry. She prided herself on her availability during working hours, but never assumed that she would have to give up her home time when she joined the firm. Nancy likes her new position very much, and enjoys working with her clients, but she values her home time.

What can be learned here is that employers owe it to their employees to honor their right to a home life. It is hard enough to balance work with commitments at home. To complicate that balance is unfair. Employers must accept that everyone needs time away from work, and that to demand that employees be on call 24/7 is unreasonable and frankly, bad management. Stress at work is one of the primary reasons for absenteeism and loss of productivity. By honoring the fact that employees need to live their life away from work free of any guilt and free of any concerns is just good business. Not honoring the separation of work and home sets employers up for sudden resignations by employees, poor employee morale, and lack of productivity and commitment to the job.

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

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