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Sunday, June 16, 2024
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ought to managers all the time “personal the message,” private data within the background of a coworker’s cat photographs, and extra — Ask a Supervisor

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It’s 5 solutions to 5 questions. Right here we go…

1. Ought to managers all the time “personal the message”?

It’s evaluate time at our firm. I’m not a supervisor, however was included on an e mail from our VP about “proudly owning the message.” They don’t need managers saying, “I’d have promoted you, however it was turned down on the VP stage” or “We wished to advertise you, however our price range wouldn’t allow us to.” I labored at one other firm with an identical “personal the message” philosophy. What do you consider that? As a supervisor, I discovered it laborious to do, and there have been instances the place I felt my supervisor was additionally coping with these conditions and didn’t really “personal the message.”

It relies upon a lot on the scenario. There are managers who take the simple manner out by blaming administration above them/budgets/different components when in actuality it was their choice (absolutely or partially) or not less than they don’t disagree with the choice they’re conveying. It’s simpler to say “administration wouldn’t approve the promotion” than “I don’t assume you’ve earned it.” That’s an issue; a part of administration is giving candid, forthright suggestions, and it’s not okay to keep away from that.

Then again, generally it’s true that the choice was out of the supervisor’s palms. That’s so much trickier. Managers shouldn’t domesticate an us vs. them vibe with their groups vs. administration, they usually do want to have the ability to converse for administration as an entire. However on the similar time, workers need to know the reality — and if the reality is one thing like “your work isn’t being acknowledged at ranges above me and that’s not prone to change,” they actually need to know that to allow them to make good selections for themselves. So I feel the communication out of your VP must be extra nuanced.

2. Private data within the background of a coworker’s cat photographs

My firm has a Slack channel the place workers share cute photos of their pets. One in every of our government assistants employed earlier this 12 months, “Shannon,” continuously shares photographs of her three cats, who prefer to lie on her desk. Typically Shannon’s pc screens are within the background of her cat photographs and, with a bit zoom-in, you may learn the whole lot on her display screen. Since Shannon’s job is planning occasions for our management, I’ve been capable of see the eating places and inns the place our execs or board members can be happening what dates. In a single case, I’ve clearly seen the private handle and telephone variety of one in every of our board members. Solely people in our firm Slack can view this channel, and I don’t assume anybody would do something nefarious with this data, but when I have been Shannon’s boss or one in every of our executives, I’d not need data like that so public.

I’ve debated sending Shannon a sort e mail pointing this out, since she would possibly merely not take into consideration what’s within the background of her cat photographs. However I don’t work immediately along with her and even know her effectively, and I’m afraid my message would appear nosy or impolite since I don’t assume this behavior has brought on any issues (but). Ought to I say one thing, or ought to I “let sleeping cats lie” and let it go?

Say one thing! It shouldn’t be an enormous deal to kindly level it out. You would say, “I really like seeing your cats! I wished to say that in among the photographs, for those who zoom in you may see the whole lot in your display screen, which you in all probability don’t need for privateness causes, particularly if you’ve acquired board member contact data up!”

3. Listening to an sick coworker within the toilet

I lately acquired promoted and have my very own workplace. Yay! My new workplace shares a wall with one in every of our loos. It’s often not one thing I discover (aside from occasional flushing) and I largely tune it out, however twice within the final 24 hours I’ve heard somebody develop into what feels like violently sick within the toilet. I can’t actually ignore it and have to go away my workplace when this occurs or I may also be sick. Along with that, I’m apprehensive about my coworker! I feel I would know who it’s; I’m not less than assured about which division the coworker is from. I don’t know what to do now. Nothing? Will it simply go? Ought to I deliver it as much as the division supervisor? HR (looks as if that will be an excessive amount of)?

I’d solely point out it within the context of asking for a white noise machine or one thing else to assist masks sound so you may work. I too used to work proper subsequent to a toilet and, consider me, white noise is the way in which to go.

Past that, although, anybody utilizing the toilet deserves to take care of the well mannered fiction that no matter they’re doing in there can’t be heard exterior of the room. Whether or not somebody is sick or pregnant or having a response to one thing, they deserve privateness round no matter’s happening.

4. Ought to I refuse to edit AI-generated content material?

I’m a copywriter and editor. I’ve constructed up an excellent clientele through the years and developed a specialty in writing consumer-friendly content material about complicated matters during which accuracy is important (assume insurance coverage or healthcare).

One in every of my long-time purchasers can be utilizing one other agency for content material improvement. Effective with me; I don’t have time to put in writing reams of lengthy type items for them. Nevertheless, this different agency makes use of AI to generate, or not less than help with creating, content material. Invariably, it incorporates factual errors and weird language.

So the consumer asks me to evaluate it, and I repair the copy. An authentic sentence would possibly say “400,000 annual llama groomers recommended this comb for its praiseworthy proficiency in knot administration,” and I appropriate it to “4,000 llama groomers endorsed this detangling comb final 12 months.”

Right here’s the issue. A) I’m fairly positive this different company costs excess of I do for this horrible work. B) I’m involved that I’m unwittingly serving to the AI-using agency to refine their course of. C) I simply hate AI on precept; not solely is it destroying artistic professions however I feel the top outcome can be dystopian horror, as within the quick story “I Have No Mouth and I Should Scream.”

However hey, that’s simply me! My dilemma: Sooner or later, ought to I refuse to do this sort of work? Or hope that in declaring its deficiencies, my purchasers will keep away from AI content material technology? Or simply acknowledge that that is an inevitable business change and adapt accordingly?

I wouldn’t wish to edit AI copy both! It’s completely reliable to determine that’s not a sort of service you present. However there’s additionally not one proper reply; it’s a private choice, relying what varieties of labor you might be and aren’t desirous about doing.

Should you do determine to cease doing it, you possibly can merely say, “I wished to let you realize I’m not going to be obtainable to edit AI-generated content material; having accomplished a few of it now, I’ve realized it’s a really completely different sort of writing and enhancing than I take pleasure in.” If you would like, you possibly can add, “I additionally assume AI-generated content material isn’t an excellent factor for customers due to XYZ,” however that relies upon very a lot in your relationship with the consumer.

Caveat: any time you flip down work, you’re encouraging the consumer to construct relationships with different writers. Over time it’s doable they’ll ship them among the work you do need, and also you’ve acquired to be okay with that chance.

5. Consumer appreciation items

There have been a number of posts these previous few weeks relating to worker items and, as a enterprise proprietor, I agree that time and cash off are by far probably the most universally requested. Nevertheless, what about consumer appreciation items? We wish to say thank-you to our purchasers on the finish of the 12 months however we’re caught on what to do. Nobody desires a mouse pad, or one other water bottle with our emblem on it. By the top of December, we’ve had extra cookies, sweet, and sugar than we care to confess so we don’t wish to add to the pile. What do you and the readers take into consideration a present card to an area restaurant group? It falls extra within the “cash” class and a dinner out looks like a pleasant thank-you, however one thing about it feels off when speaking of consumer appreciation. Final 12 months we despatched Rocketbooks, which have been very effectively obtained, however we’re having a tough time considering of one thing new. We’ve accomplished a number of net searches and scoured the brand swag catalogs and are nonetheless developing empty-handed. There’s a purpose so many workplaces get packing containers of candies and cookies at year-end, they could be much less personable however a lot simpler!

Consumer appreciation items are powerful. Time and cash off aren’t choices the way in which they’re with workers, and it’s very laborious to search out one thing that everybody will like … which is how so many individuals find yourself again at meals. Let’s throw this out to readers.

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