Will Managers Ever Learn To Just Shut Up?

If I could give managers just one piece of advice, it
would be – Resist the urge to make comments that you think
are “helpful” or that make you look like someone with
“inside information.”

There are numerous legal cases that have cost employers
millions of dollars because managers were not discrete in
their conversations with employees.  Examples such as the
following make the point:

Marcus et al. v. PQ Corp. – $6.2 million for age
discrimination in the layoff of some older workers because
managers were heard saying, “We need to get some young
blood in here” and “We need to get rid of some of these
old farts.”

Blount v. Stroud – $3.3 million for retaliation in the
termination of a woman who gave testimony in a different
case and prior to her testimony supervisors remarked to
her, “You don’t know what you’re up against” and “The
company could cause you not to exist.”

HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: Words matter, but silence is
golden!

In both of the above cases, management had well documented
proof that the terminations were not based on age
discrimination or retaliation.  However, the issues that
turned the cases in favor of the employees were the
testimony of other employees who heard managers make these
inappropriate remarks.

Trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to be the
supervisor who caused a company to lose $6.2 million plus
legal fees simply because you didn’t know when to keep
quiet.

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One Response to Will Managers Ever Learn To Just Shut Up?

  1. Bonita Lay says:

    When there is alignment of both personal and organizational goals, goal achievement is the lynch pin for success. Taking into consideration the Strategic Plan. Do you use it as a managment tool? Does Structure support the Strategic Plan, the Process…does it support the Structure. How are people rewarded and recognized and how are people developed? When the personal goals are weaved with the organizational goals, morale increases. Goals that are not Written, Harmonious with the Strategic Plan both personal and professionally,they are Yours, and of course: Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Realistic and Timely…then they are goals that have gone wild.

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