Warning letter received for sharing knowledge - please comment
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Warning letter received for sharing knowledge - please comment

doxx@hotmail.fr Started The Discussion:

Hi,

I am a store manager in clothing retail.

I was sent a warning letter by my area manager via email on my personal email address.
Is that professional? I thought the procedure was to post the letter signed for.

The company is french, when I started in March 2010, there was no structure, no HR documents, Health and safety procedures were not in place.

I offered to my Area Manager to help in some areas.
I prepared templates of letters (request for references, letter to an unsuccesful applicant and letter for job abandonement).
Every time she would visit I would show her all the documents and give copies.

I have been using them for the past year.
The other managers of the Uk network have also used those templates.
The area manager has always been aware and has always received copies of the letters sent to any member of staff.
She has never told me not to use them.

I have recently sent an email with the templates to my area manager, her assistant and the Uk managers (most of them are french and have difficulties to write in English). I thought they could use them as examples if needed.

This is the reason why I am getting the written warning.

I did not have a proper meeting nor offered to be represented or have a witness. She visited my store on the 16/03 and told me I cannot use these letters without Paris approval, that she felt that I stabed her in the back and asked me if I wanted her job. I was told I've crossed the boundaries of my position and the she was saying a big no to me.
I was not prepared and I was not expecting a warning or such a discussion.

The letter is dated on the 16/03 but she was emailed on the 21/03.
It says I have 5 working days to reply to it.
If my shop opens on Sundays, does it mean Sunday is considered as a working day?

I feel quite demotivated. I also feel the punishement is a bit too excessive.
There are some incoherences and I would like to write a letter to my director.
She has written the letter in english, do I have to write my answer in english too?
My director is based in France and he is not fluent in english, can I reply in french?

Thank you in advance for your replies,
Cynthia

dasmanash - Member Since: Apr 2005
Hi Cynthia,

I think your being emotional and are getting carried away! Look at scenarion objectively.

With all due respect to your good intentions, I feel: -

1. Yes, it was not your responsibility to circulate the templates, unless you were asked to. Here, also you got emotionally carried away, with all good intentions to help others as a mother hen, but your action might have created some embarrasement somewhere.

2. You are not just workment that you can look for justice through domestic enquiry, or being represented etc.Even thinking of them may jeopardise your career.

3. Option of writing language is absolutely yours, but think twice before you mark a copy to your director, unless your Area Manager has marked a copy to him. This may not be taken in a very good test.

4. In your reply you simply mention that you wanted to help others, without realizing that it will create some problem for HO, and your intentions were good. Apologise for inconvenience.

That's all you should do at this moment. Take a judicious decision when you cool off.

Regards,
Manas

nabomita1979 - Member Since: Apr 2006
Greetings,

Please write an apology letter stating your intent and the purpose of sharing the template. You wanted to share and not push your knowledge to others. Your intent meant no harm to anyone.

Whom do you report in your organization? Share your intent with your boss and clear the issue. Accept responsibility and seek guidance. Find out the platform where you can share in the future. If you have an intranet where you can upload material for other's to review, something similar to an internal wiki , upload your documents there. Please request for comment. Keep an open mind. When you share most of the replies would be harsh feedback. Use them for your development. They say, " A critique is far more inexpensive than a trainer."

Do not lose heart. This is an individual event. Take this as a learning and keep it in mind when you are sharing next time.

Wish you all the best. I am sure you will find many more learners who will gain from what you share.

Regards,
Nabomita
Quote:
Originally Posted by doxx@hotmail.fr View Post
Hi Manas,

Thank you for your reply.

I have cooled of a little bit :-)
On the warning leetter I was told I could reply to it and address it to my director.
I agree it is not my responsabilities to send those letters and I have apologised for that.
Do you think a written warning is the appropriate response to that situation?

I still wonder if it is normal procedure to send the warning via email and on my personal address?

Regards,
Cynthia

skhadir - Member Since: Oct 2010
Dear Ms. Cynthia,
Perhaps by now you would have understood the mentality of those, with whom you had been working for a quite long time......

You need to handle this matter diplomatically without loosing hopes, as i see her JEALOUS of your knowledge..Its normal in many organisations and i had felt the same in my past....Please don't get DEMOTIVATED and loooooose hopes.

1) I agree with Ms. Nabomita...Just to make them feel happy, please do submit your apology letter stating only your intent and purpose of sharing templates because my sincere advice to you is "Not to do anything unless you had been asked for"..We are living in a world where GOOD DEEDS GIVES US BAD RESULTS........In your whole life, kindly don't expect gratitude in return for all good deeds you did....

2)I agree with Manas... kindly respond to those whom you are suppose to or concerned with...Its an PROFESSIONAL ETHIC. Who knows your Director my favour their country people......Sorry i don't know your nationality because there is also something called "NATIONALITY FEELING" or "SUPPORT NATIONALS"

3) You may approach your Director, if you are reporting to him. Kindly don't escalate this issue if it can be sorted out with a "MEANING LESS APOLOGY LETTER"

4) Kindly reply in ENGLISH only...

5) Kindly develop a good relationship @ both verticals CO-WORKERS & SUPERIORS...

Your intentions are GOOD and you will have unlimited scope to GROW as ALMIGHTY will only support people like you, but at the same he will test your patience level as well

Good luck..

With profound regards

doxx@hotmail.fr - Member Since: Mar 2011
Hi,

Let me fill somes gaps. I have not given enough explanation in my first email.

Before that can someone tell me if a warning letter can be sent via email?
Can you email this type of letter to the personal email of an employee?

When I started in the company, my manager asked me to help her. She was not aware of some procedures.
I agreed and helped her. I looked for HR documents (including those templates), prepared H&S training for the UK network, translated documents etc...
Those HR letters have been used for the past 8 months by me and some colleagues, she has always received a copy and has never said a thing or sent an email telling us not to use them.

She has added as a fault that I helped a manager adjusting a mistake on the till.
She also said I have aggravated the problem and she had to correct it.

A customer paid with a credit note (280) for some items (150), the customer should get (we don't do refunds) as change a new credit note of 130. My colleagues did not select credit note as change and the till automatically registered it as cash.
He ended up with - 130 on the payment breakdown.
He calls me, I helped him to correct it and he closed his till without discrepencies. I have done my part.
My colleague decides to call the customer and tell her the receipt she was given is not a valid credit note. He did not tell me he was going to do this.

She calls back saying the customer is not happy and wants an official documents stating she can use the receipts in any stores. At that point I told him to call the area manager and ask her for advise.

I have done my part, correcting the till problem and buddy a new member of staff.
I wonder why this is mentioned in my warning letter and why it says I have aggravated the problem.
Which problem is she talking about?

This manager was interviewed and had his store induction with me.

There has been some comments made that made me feel uncomfortable on my appraisals.
The first one is:
" You have a multi racial team, I feel a little bit lost, I'm not sure it represents our image"
She then added
" Well maybe it's because you are mixed race and you feel the need to hire people from all around the world to make you feel good"

The second one:
You have some strech marks on your breast, make sure your tops are not low because it is not very nice"

I have noticed this change in her attitude in January and it is escalating, the letter is just being an add on.

In December she asked me to cover her holidays. I told her I would take it as a challenge even though I have no interest that role. My passion is coaching and training.
Despite the fact that it was the busiest time of the year for a manager (xmas + sales) I did my best to do a good job.

When she came back I did not get feedback on the work I did and the picking started from there.

I don't mind working hard or sharing my knowledge. I don't think it is normal to work in these conditions.

I feel that it is time for me to do something about the situation.

I have joined a trade union, I do not to go to another meeting without witness and suppport.
I am looking for another job.

Regards,
Cynthia

skhadir - Member Since: Oct 2010
Dear Ms. Cynthia
You are most welcome and its my pleasure to provide you inputs that could help you to understand your existing issues. I believe in SOLVING PROBLEMS/ISSUES as i love to do it. Let me explain you one after the other. While reading my post, I request you sincerely and humbly to pay HIGH LEVEL ATTENTION where you need to CONCENTRATE, FOCUS and FREE YOUR MIND from NEGATIVE THOUGHTS.

1) At the outset, you need to understand all those associated with you. It is must for those who wish to escalate to the next level of hierarchy and taste success.

2) "Organization is nothing but the employees and employees manage everything". It is the employees that creates problems/issues and again it is the employees that provides the solution.

3) In case if your BOSS(DIRECTOR - let him be the sole owner or employee holding stake/shares) if he is a true HUMAN BEING, if he has EMOTIONAL FEELINGS, he will definitely try to understand the whole issue and will support you else ..........i hope you understood as i feel that you are also a SMART and WISE EMPLOYEE but you are HONESTLY INNOCENT......correct me if i am wrong as my analysis never went wrong till date.
3.1) Study your boss ATTITUDE before you approach him with your sensitive case expecting him to do justice with you only, if she had cross her limits but you never loose your PATIENCE LEVELS. Maintain your ATTITUDE and PLEASE DON'T REACT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. One single mistake will turn the whole case upside down.

4) We are living in 21st CENTURY where we are making extreme use of TECHNOLOGY and many organisations are promoting the concept of PAPER LESS OFFICE or E-OFFICE.

4.1) If your immediate superior is working under the same roof you can receive warning letter(attached copy, either scanned or computer generated) by email where appropriate tool(MS WORD) is used to draft warning letter else a duly signed hard copy can be received.

4.2) If you are given OFFICIAL EMAIL ID for internal official correspondence then WARNING LETTER should be sent to your OFFICIAL EMAIL ID only...Else it could be sent to your personal id. It is considered to unethical and unprofessional(approach) to send the same to your personal id, if you were given OFFICIAL EMAIL ID.

5) I expect there is MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING between you and your MANAGER as your manager had requested you to help. Henceforth how far your manager has succeeded in helping you to sort out this issue?

6) It is not we INDIANS who are feeling uncomfortable but all those other country nationals who are JEALOUS of INDIANS because we are THE BEST IN THE WORLD(in every aspect) and NO ONE CAN OUT PERFORM US .....ITS MY CHALLENGE. This is what i found in your case.
6.1) You can fairly reply that you don't have any feelings associated with racism

7) It is the PROBLEM with your CO-WORKER who is feeling INSECURITY(her JOB) and JEALOUS(your skills, way of handling job and delivering responsibilities). Indeed it your QUALITIES, SKILLS that is making her feel the same and she believes that you can progress much faster than her...
7.1) This is the only reason made her to comment using SLANG LANGUAGE, that clearly indicates that she is INEXPERIENCED EMPLOYEE. I am sure she hails from middle class background. Well off employees will never comment in such manner.
7.2) She took the leverage/advantage of you being a FEMALE else she cant to dare to comment the way she did.
7.3) It is the fact that "A FEMALE CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND ANOTHER FEMALE"

You consult someone who can provide you a solution where you need to cross check with all those suggestions you had received from this community.

GOOD LUCK..

with profound regards

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