Don't Start An Email About Redundancies By Describing Your Long Weekend

It's never easy to tell staff that they're being made redundant, and arguably email is rarely the best medium for doing so. But if you are going to send an email, we'd suggest a better approach than that of the head of the Victorian Workcover Authority, who apparently kicked off a message telling staff of impending job losses by describing the "restful long weekend" she had just enjoyed in the Victorian spa town of Daylesford.

Picture: Mike Hauser

The AFR reports on the message, which was sent in June. Workcover chief executive Denise Cosgrove begins the missive by discussing the "beautiful spa surroundings and the quirky vintage shops" in Daylesford, then spends four paragraphs discussing issues at Workcover before coming to the crux of the matter:

We're proposing some immediate restructuring and changes to role and unfortunately this will result in some job losses.

Job losses are an unfortunate fact of corporate life, and there's no ideal way of delivering that information. But we'd hope it was obvious that highlighting your own recent pleasant experiences is not the right way to frame that message. What do you think?

Daylesford’s great – oh, and we’re making people redundant [AFR]


    What I'd like to know is how some of these people became managers and chief executives of large organizations. How daft can you be?

      I often think that this kind of thing must be due to "Peter Pan" syndrome. The person in question is so good at a lower ranking job - or kisses arse so well - that they are promoted to a position beyond their abilities.

        It's called the "Peter Principle", viz. Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.

    I have worked for managers who seriously believe "it's all about me!" Nobody else matters.
    These people are narcissistic, greedy, and conceited. They are also incredibly boring.

    In the case of the Victorian Workcover Authority, it is clear the first to go should be Denise Cosgrove.

    I read the first line then relied it was 2 pages long.

    this was a work email? who writes long emails at work... get to the dam point!

    Also, who fires someone in an email?

      A colleague (who was casual) at a previous job was fired by SMS. He pretended he didn't get the SMS, and came to work his next scheduled shift. He was sent another SMS that night. Again, pretended he didn't get it. Kept getting SMS's. He wasn't scheduled for more shifts past the 4 weeks he was already scheduled for, but he continued to come in to every one of his scheduled shifts. Our manager was very new. Recently (2 days before) promoted from a non-supervisory role at another site.

      Last edited 08/07/13 9:54 pm

    Saw this in "The Office". The answer is simple: she must go - someone on a CEO package doesn't get to make this type of insensitive blunder.

    That does look like a pretty nice place...

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