Post # 1
SO to make a long story short I work/ have contact with my regional manager on a day to day basis about starting new programs with our multiple locations etc…within the past few weeks there have been some emails that go unanswered…emails where I am specifically asking him questions that I never receive an answer to and there is no mention of it when I see him in person.
This morning we are emailing each other about a few different issues and getting responses within a few minutes of sending. But then I ask about a specific program and if it should be started and I get no reply….nothing…I then email him again asking if he is receiving all my emails? And still nothing.
I am really getting fed up with him picking and choosing what he answers. I am really contemplating going to HR due to this. But I hate getting people in potential trouble or I second guess if I am blowing things out of proportion. What would you do?
Post # 4
Is it always the same program that he doesn’t respond about? Maybe he is waiting for approval on his end before he can give you the ok to start? Sometimes if I don’t have a “yes” or “no” answer I will avoid answering an email until I do… I hate answering “i don’t know”
Is this directly impacting your ability to do your job or to get paid? If not I would hold off. Print/save the emails and then if it ever comes back that you did not properly do YOUR job you will have to proof you need as to why this task/project was not completed. I would not go to his boss unless absolutely necessary.. this will only cause added tension between you guys.
Or next time you see him in person casually ask if there is a reason you are not able to get started on that specific project. I would not ask why your emails are not getting returned. Just pretend like it’s the first time you are asking the question.
Good Luck keep us posted on how you make out 🙂
Post # 5
Can you call him instead of emailing him? I prefer email as well but when stuff like this happens I will pick up the phone. People will have no choice but to answer your questions if you get them to pick up.
Post # 6
HR probably won’t be able to do anything, because most HR departments are for taking care of hiring and benefits. They rarely get involved with employee disputes, which is what your situation basically is.
I would start copying your regional manager’s direct supervisor on the emails that your manager seems to ignore… If your RM starts to see that his supervisor is seeing the emails, he’ll start responding… of course, if you don’t want him to know, you could always send a bcc to his supervisor.
If your RM says anything about copying his supervisor, simply explain that you were not getting the answers you needed from him to do your job properly, and so you felt you had to take it a step up. It’s perfectly legitimate.
Post # 7
I would call him but at this point (and since I see him a couple times a week) I want proof of this since it will effect my reviews which effect my pay raises.
Thanks guys for the advice
Post # 8
@Loribeth: This is a great idea! Thank you!
Post # 9
I would try to call or you mentioned seeing them in person. Maybe say something then. Face to face is good! If you are just using email as your main source of communitcation I would cc other people in the message.
Post # 10
Do you have outlook? Within our office we have outlook and I send “read receipts” with everything. After he reads the emails it prompts for a read receipt and whether he pushes yes or no, YOU get a confirmation email that he opened it… that way if he says “I never saw that” you can be like *pull up read receipt* “yes you did…” Maybe that will lead him to figuring out you’re going to get on him about it either way, he might as well just respond…
This is more for if the situation is causing problems though…
Post # 11
@Loribeth: definitely second this. whenever i’m not getting something out of someone (or if i’m dealing with someone who never answers) then i’ll either cc their boss, have my boss ask their boss to tell them to tell me what i need to know (though it doesn’t look like that’d work in your situation!) or cc one of their colleagues that i know, so that they’ll respond in order to save face.
Post # 12
I would be careful in just starting to CC bosses without a discussion about it first. That could be taken hostily (depending on the temperment of your boss).
I work in the HR dept for my company (specifically in the employee relations section!) so HR does get involved with employee disputes if need be. I wouldn’t call this a dispute.
My advise would be to call him, and ask to schedule a phone meeting to discuss the programs that you are not getting responses about. Once you’ve agreed to a phone date (in advance, not right away) send him an agenda of all points you would like to cover (perhaps include on this agenda your concerns about his lack of response – something in the lines of – I appreciate you taking time for this specific purpose, I wasn’t sure this was a high priority as we weren’t able to commuicate directly about these programs, etc).
this way, you have his undivided attention for this one specific issue. It’s much harder to avoid questions on the phone that it is in an email.
Post # 13
I would not go to HR. There is nothing they can do to help you and instead will just run right to your boss and tell him everything you said, so it will actually backfire.
If you are really having an issue with his responsiveness and it is negatively affecting your job performance, there are certain actions you need to take, the sooner the better. And keep emailing so you have proof. First, I would schedule some time to talk to him in person. Make the topic about you and your job performance. Explain to him that you are concerned that you aren’t able to meet all of your job expectations as a direct result of not getting answers from him. Ask him for suggestions, if you should ask in a different way, if you should schedule a meeting in person to get answers you need, or even ask if you’ve been approaching it the wrong way – making it so that he can’t give you an answer. This will back him into a corner and force him to recognize that he’s been dissing you basically and you are keeping track.
If the meeting goes poorly, or if he promises to improve but doesn’t, then you need to schedule a meeting with HIS boss. AGain, make it about YOU and your performance, not about your boss. Express concern about not being able to complete your tasks in a timely fashion because you aren’t getting the answers or feedback you need. Give him/her specific examples, which you have been documenting. Ask this person for input or suggestions on how you can improve since you are concerned it will affect your review negatively.
Post # 14
@moderndaisy: Agreed… Email is tricky – it’s too easy to ignore, but all too easy to misinterpret. In person is best, but at the very least, I’d pick up the phone and call him. He can ignore your call, but if he does that, I’d say something fishy is going on and then I think you have the right to take it to the higher ups. Although I’d suggest taking it to his boss, rather than HR. Politely, of course – not with the intention of getting him into trouble. Just take it to them and say “This is something I need approval on and I haven’t received confirmation yet, is there anything you can do” ?
Post # 15
I don’t have any advise for you, but I just wanted to comiserate because my boss is the same way. He just ignores anything he doesn’t feel like answering. It drives me bonkers! Good luck with your situation though. I hope it gets worked out!
Post # 16
This happens to me ALL the time. What I do is I forward the original email back to the person with another email asking if they’ve had a chance to think about xyz yet. Keep forwarding and adding on dates; you can always print them out for documentation that you’ve tried to communicate with them about it.