My boss’ kids and dog appear on video calls with the staff, yet when any of our kids or pets bomb the shot, he makes a sarcastic comment, which sounds like he is joking, but that we all interpret as his displeasure. Should one of us say something?
Social platforms are exploding with the very revealing (literally and figuratively) nonworking side of employees as the boundaries between office and home have dissolved. I think it is humanizing, and we all need to get over ourselves a bit and chill. Silence when something is bothering you is rarely a good option. But bosses come in all varieties, and what you can say to a boss, who can say it, when and how all depends entirely on the relationships between the parties. If you have a communicative kind of relationship, then say something privately in a light-hearted way. Explain that it is engaging when employees see their human side, and that the staff should feel as comfortable yet currently they don’t. Otherwise, it might not be worth it. Just grin and coo at how cute the dog and kids are and keep yours on a leash (your dog, not your kids).
I have an employee who is a good worker but it has come to my attention that she believes in voodoo and places curses on employees she doesn’t like. It’s making the rest of the staff uncomfortable. How do you handle this?
Oh, my goodness this is an easy one. You just have to smudge. Smudging is an ancient ceremony in which sacred plants are burned and the smoke is wafted throughout the space or around someone’s body to bless and cleanse the space of any bad juju. This will be an effective antidote to the spells cast by your employee. Or, you can try speaking to your employee and explain that, you know, casting bad spells at work is probably an activity that is best practiced in the privacy of one’s home (like the rest of us do). If she refuses — and you are willing to risk having a spell cast on you — it might be time for her to practice her craft somewhere else.
Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. E-mail your questions to [email protected] Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com, dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work