Dear Members!

I have come across very stange situation wherein one of my senior is not saitisfied with the company and the reason that he states is something we are unable to understand being in HR. The situation is:

We have a senior person working at the Director level in the company. There is one another girl who is working at the entry level with us. The two have got married now. As a company policy, we celebrate the birthdays of our employees and in this regard we had celebrated the birthday of the employee who is at the senior level a little differently. During his birthday party, all the management and the senior staff were present.

Few days back, it was his wife's birthday. As a company policy we did celebrate her birthday but not in the manner her husband's birthday was celebrated. This means being at the entry level her birthday was celebrated with other people at the same level.(We celebrate birthday's of all employees together on the last working day of the month.)

This time the employee of ours who is at the senior level got annoyed that we did not celebrate his wife's birthday in the similar fashion as was his. He feels dissatisfied and wants to quit the job.

Now, we are in a fix as we are unable to understand what should we do? We tried to convience the guy stating that his wife is not at the level where the same treatment as his can be given to her, but he just don't wannna understand anything.

Kindly advice what should we do? He is an efficient person and we donnot want him to leave the company.

Kindly advice............................. Waiting eagerly for your suggestions.

Prachi Jain

From India, Delhi

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Hey Prachi,
Are you really sure he is an effiecient person...
If he is, why cant he undersatnd such a simple thing, that too, after spending so many professional years of life and working on such a cader...
Well, try and make him understand the situation that it would bring a feeling of discrimination amongst other team members of his wife. Bacause in a corporate one is respected for his roles and responsibilities and not for being somebody's wife or husband. Moreover policies can not be changed for anyone.
If he wishes, he can celebrate his wife's birthday out of office and can invite the entire staff.
If still he does not understand you point, then I would rather say that he does not have the right decision making ability, which is a must for a leader.....

From India, Pune
I too am not sure if he is really an effecient person.In case he is effeceient, may be he also has some good opportunity in hand and he is trying to move out of the company and is hence creating this mess. Otherwise he should understand the companies policy or else request for some change in the policy.

From India, Pune
Hi Prachi,
Some body from Director level , if you have any HR Director should talk to him and counsel him, and explain him the thing positively. Because rules should be same for everybody and that needs to be explained to the concerned person. Also if the rules are broken for one person, this was the case of Birthday party only , if at increment time or appraisal time of his wife again he will have some more expectations, then that will create a problem. So this issue needs to be address now only and a wrong precident should not be started looking at a future consequences.
Also we had rule of both Husband and wife can't work in the same organisation, one has to leave if they get married. It depends upon company to company of course. This also you can keep in mind if any change in HR policies to be made, so that such type of incidents can be autmatically avoided.

From India, Mumbai
Hi Prachi,
I agree with Harshad. If he is an efficient employee and i understand that he must be having good experience - this behaviour is not at all expected.
This is such a small thing and he he is creating a hill out of this mole. We can understand how will he behave at the time of performance appraisals.
I do not recommend couples in one company. This can really disturb the culture of the organization. Why do you think that he wants to leave? Maybe he also has understood that he and his wife should not work in the same company. He might have been facing some issues at home related to office matters. Maybe he also wants to escape.
My suggestion - Find a replacement. He has decided to go. If not today, he will leave tomorrow. Dont allow this situation to get aggrevated. Also, dont hype this isuue. You can find a better professional than him.

From India, Hyderabad
Hey guys,

I have just joined this forum and it already seems to be a very interesting one. Well, in this case, I agree with the views that Prachi, Anubha and harshad have put forth.

However, I also need to say that he being efficient has nothing to do with the unrealistic expectations that he has from the organization. I understand what I am going to say is gonna sound a bit direct and blunt but I guess, you should just let him go if he wants to because this is just going to get uglier with each issue he comes across where he gets a chance to compare the treatment meted out to his wife and himself (with all his efficiency, he obviously does not understand the difference in the levels they both are at).

//Harshad, do you think that counselling and explanation is warranted for a person at a Director level?

It should be a simple diktat to him that what he thinks is totally nutty, if he gets that, you get to keep this efficient guy, if not, it is a win-win situation for the organization anyway.



From India, Mumbai
Hi Prachi,
I agree completely with what Anubha has to say on the matter, couple of points:
  1. If the person at the senior level is experienced and mature he should have respected the company policies and adhered to them, if he hasn't done that then he doesnt deserve to be in such a situation
  2. The company shouldnt change the policies & procedures based on the likes & dislikes of an employee whatever level s/he is at
  3. If this person at such a senior level behaves in the manner he is then he doesnt deserve to be in that position
Sit and discuss the same with him but dont budge on your point and maintain your stand.

From India, Delhi
Hey guys
Thank you all for your valuable suggestions. But, my problem is that he is working with the company for the last 7 years. He is very efficient and he has proved this over a period of time. My company does not want to loose the employee and being at a level where its me who has to interact with him....................i dont know what should I do?
We cannot afford to loose him and at the same time we cannot afford to celebrate his wife's birthday.
Please help me solve this issue.............

From India, Delhi
Hello Prachi,
Its a difficult situation. But the core issue is that this person wants to bend the policies of the firm for his Wife. WHAT NEXT ?? Special Promotions for Her.
Have you considered how it will effect the morale of the rest of the staff ?
I too agree with all the people above and feel
THAT IF A DIRECTOR WANTS TO QUIT OVER an issue like this then let him quit.
Just don't budge and take the gamble and I feel he will buckle, because he would not like to lose two household jobs in one day.
FACE THE CHALLENGE BOLDLY otherwise if you acceede to one outrageous demand of one guy, then you have just triggered a uncontrollable chain reaction.

From India, Delhi

Let him quit.

Celebrating birthdays is a policy issue in the organization. The Director and his wife are NOT on the same level of the hierarchy and can not expect to be treated "specially". His superiors must make an attempt to set his perspectives and conduct to conform to the organizational culture. If the gentleman does not understand this, then despite his efficiency or competence, it is better that either he mends his ways or he goes.

In any case organization is superior to any and all individuals and HR philosophy does NOT suggest that policies must be bent for the whims and fancies of anyone!

The skies are not going to fall, if he goes or is asked to go. The organization will reconfigure itself and continue to exist and grow and excel without him despite some initial setback it may suffer from initially.. That is the cost the organization will have to pay to retain its sensibilities. Who knows, his exit may even be a boon in disguise. Let the thought of life without him paralise the organization.

Finally, if all this was not to happen and he had gone for his own reasons anyway, would the organization not have readjusted to function competently in the new reality?

The answer to your predicament is obvious if you develop clarity of vision as outlined above.

July 17, 2008

From India, Pune

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