How do I tell someone they need to improve their table manners?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 91
Member
865 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

cbgg :  Now that is an excellent solution.  Something to consider though – would you have left him in the “lunch job” if this eating thing hadn’t come up?  Or are there other reasons you were already considering for having someone else do it?

I’m only asking because if it’s the former, then this is a perfect example of how his poor etiquette IS harming his career.  If it’s considered a demotion to be taken out of this role, you may still want to talk to him about the eating.

ETA:  I’m not suggesting you don’t remove him from the role, but if the eating has something to do with why (which is perfectly acceptable), you might be doing him a favor if you let him know.  Or not!  Maybe it’s just easier to remove him from a situation where eating matters and then it’s no longer an issue.

Post # 92
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Farm

I wouldn’t so this. He could say you’re picking on him and singling him out which could lead to an HR issue. I would be offended. I understand that he represents the company in this setting outside of the office but how does it affect his work ethic in the office? Maybe run it by another supervisor without telling them who you are referring to for some input or contact HR for more protocol. I think I would take offense if my supervisor would call me in the office for something like that. 

Post # 93
Member
865 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

beverly579 :  So a manager is never allowed to correct an employee on a work-related matter because it might affect their “work ethic”?

Post # 95
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Farm

@ fredthebasil, nope, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m just saying you have to be careful with certain situations. I’ve none people that have taken their supervisors to HR for something on a smaller scale than this right here. It’s all about the approach and how she thinks he may handle the feedback. I would hate for it to escalate into a bigger issue. That’s all I’m saying. I ask the question of how will it affect him in the office in reference to taking the new hires out to eat. I asked if it affected his work ethic.  People are corrected all the time. I would hate for her concern to be misunderstood that is all. 

Post # 96
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Farm

cbgg :  is there any classes or course that he coul take that could help get him on the right track for that position? The company I work for offers different classes to help with our strengths and weaknesses. We also get feedback as you suggested in our 1:1 ones in areas that we can improve on.  Maybe if you can suggest some course that your company offers would be helpful. We have course that our supervisor’s recommend for us to take and then our supervisor ask us as well of there are any course that we would like to take to learn more about the job or just to improve our skillets? We also have job shadowing maybe he could shadow with a senior rep in his position that could be a great influence and provide some guidance a d tips. 

Post # 97
Member
1012 posts
Bumble bee

This is also where an informal mentor would help quite a bit.  Informal mentors can give you tips on company culture and what is considered faux pas.  If he is overall lacking in that area, you might want to set him up with a mentor who could give him some informal coaching.

Post # 98
Member
865 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

beverly579 :  This is so curious to me.  When companies are dissatisfied with their employees’ performance, in my experience, they usually fire them, not coddle them.

Post # 100
Member
96 posts
Worker bee

I agree with several bees that this may not be appropriate to bring up given the situation. If taking clients or new hires out to lunch/dinner is an essential function of the job then it may be appropriate to discuss this with him if others bring this up to you or if he comes to you and specifically asks what he needs to do to advance. However, a discussion like this could easily come across as very offensive or petty. As a manager, you should be very careful about picking your battles. It is difficult to maintain a reputation as a good manager and easy to develop a reputation as a bad manager.  

Post # 101
Member
2347 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I think your picture is very different to the situation you are describing. He used a fork- he wasn’t eating with his hands and smearing stuff on his face. I think you are being overly cruel. 

Post # 102
Member
44 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2016

Here’s the truth for those who suggest the employee might go to HR and somehow the manager gets in trouble or told to back off:  HR will tell the employee that they will follow up, then they will go to the managers office, close the door, and high-five them because someone in the company is actually doing their job.  HR is not going to jump a manager for telling an employee that they need to improve their table manners if part of their job expectation is to take people out to eat.  

I can see this conversation–

Employee to HR:  Manager told me I have bad table manners and my food sticks out of my mouth and I’m offended and don’t think it was appropriate.  

HR:  well, does your food stick out of your mouth?  

Employee:  Yes.  

HR:  Huh.

Post # 103
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Farm

fredthebasil :  that’s is so true but I’ve seen a lot of coddling on my job and I work for a mortgage company. Trust me I understand what you’ve been saying. I worked with a few people for years that couldn’t get what we were doing. They  didn’t have the skill set to even be on the team and the manager kept giving them babysitting work. I know that HR had been contacted a few times to see what could be done about them but apparently the supervisor had to provide additional training etc. I didn’t work. They just got laid off recently because my supervisors boss decided to eliminate their position. I’ve seen this coddling happen alot. 

Post # 104
Member
2347 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

srancho :  Uh except that’s not really how HR operates… especially if the employee doesn’t admit to having poor table manners (and who can define exactly what those are anyway).

Then there’s the matter of how the issue was brought up to the employee and whether ithe manner in which it was done was fair and reasonable.

Employment law is complicated. There was a case in my country just the other day where an employee fell asleep on morning tea break. Because the boss didn’t give him proper feedback the employee was awarded $11,000 for unfair dismissal.

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