In each IntegrityStar edition, we highlight some frequently asked questions. In this edition, we provide questions and answers related to this editions’ article titled, “Team Player”…
What do you think of the way Rex handled his project?
Although his intentions may have been good, his approach left Rafael and other team members with no options. Once Rex became aware of Rafael’s family obligations, he could have discussed the situation with him and attempted to find alternatives to his having to be at work after normal business hours. His belittling comments and failure to communicate important decisions was unacceptable behavior.
Was Rafael correct to simply ignore Rex’s negative comments and behavior?
No. Rex’s comments and behavior were not consistent with our Ethical Standards and Rafael should have reported them to their supervisor, Ginny.
What could Rafael have done before Ginny spoke to him about Rex?
His meeting with Ginny and his confrontation with Rex could have been avoided if he had taken action earlier to address the conflict. Rafael could have spoken up and communicated with Rex directly about how to balance his work and family obligations. If this effort had been unsuccessful, he could have spoken to Ginny. If he still found no help with the problem, he could have contacted Human Resources or the Ombuds Office.
What could Ginny have done differently?
She could have discussed the matter with Rex and Rafael together, rather than relying exclusively on Rex’s word. She could have helped the two come to an agreement about work hours. More broadly, she could have clarified the university’s policy about overtime and coached Rex appropriately about how to apply it.
What can Rex and Rafael do now to straighten out this situation?
Rafael is angry, but threatening sabotage is not the best solution. He might try explaining that Rex needs his contribution to this project in order for it to succeed, and though they might have differences, they can be worked out. Instead of continuing to undermine and retaliate against Rafael, Rex could negotiate a solution to the problem of work hours.
Keys to Remember
- It’s best for employees and supervisors to address problems as soon as they develop to avoid an escalation of angry or resentful feelings. Open, honest discussion keeps the workplace atmosphere healthy.
- Addressing problems promptly requires an understanding of the resources available to resolve problems. The supervisor is usually the first place to go.
- A healthy workplace includes mutual respect between management and employees and among co-workers. This includes respect for their professional and personal lives and responsibilities.
- Using intimidation or threats against an employee or co-worker is never acceptable.