Negative Communication (Essay Sample)
Bowman, J. (2002). Writing Negative Messages. Retrieved on Feb 10, 2015, from http://homepages(dot)wmich(dot)edu/~bowman/badnews.html
Christensen, G. J. (2005) Letters ... We Get Stacks of Letters and Business Notes. Retrieved on Jan 30, 2015, from http://www(dot)csun(dot)edu/~vcecn006/lettr.html
Groopman, J., (2002). Dying words. The New Yorker. Retrieved on Feb 10, 2015, from http://jeromegroopman(dot)com/ny-articles/DyingWords-102802.pdf
Sittenfeld, C. (1999). Good Ways to Deliver Bad News. Retrieved on Feb 10, 2015, from http://www(dot)fastcompany(dot)com/36993/good-ways-deliver-bad-news
Xerox (2015). Writing an Effective Business Letter. Retrieved on Jan 30, 2015, from http://www(dot)office(dot)xerox(dot)com/small-business/tips/business-letter/enus.html
Yen, Y. (2008, Nov 11). Laid off? No, you've been 'simplified.' Retrieved on Jan 30, 2015, from http://archive(dot)fortune(dot)com/2008/11/10/technology/layoff_terms.fortune/index.htm
In Case 3, you are required to write two negative letters.
On the TV show "The Apprentice," Donald Trump seemed to relish announcing, "You're fired" to losing contestants. But most employers recoil from having to tell employees that they will be "downsized." To make a difficult job easier, managers sometimes use euphemisms and jargon to avoid bluntly announcing that someone has been laid off. In fact, cutbacks have generated new words like "rightsizing" and "re-engineering."
Regardless of the language, an economic tailspin forces organizations to explain to laid-off employees that what’s bad for them is best for the company. At eBay, 1,500 employees lost their jobs in a program of "employee simplification." At Yahoo the CEO explained layoffs as a way for the company to "become more fit."
No matter how you look at it, people are worried about losing their jobs, and those who remain are worried about whether the company will stay in business.
Experts differ on how to reveal possible workforce reductions. Should managers disclose the news indirectly and quietly? Or should they use the direct approach and announce loudly that they are taking forceful action to strengthen the organization in a dour economy? Some say that executives should use bland language to minimize the public relations fallout from mass firings. Vague explanations and even corporate jargon may be appropriate to reduce the negative effect on remaining employees and on recruiting new employees when the economy rebounds. Opaque language and euphemisms may lessen the impact of layoffs.
Your company has decided to lay off 10 percent of its workforce to maintain profitability. Although every department has participated in cost-cutting measures, expenses continue to mount, and sales are not where they should be. Your direct supervisor, Shirley Schmidt, has asked you to draft an email that goes to the staff whose jobs are untouched by the layoffs. The goal is to assure key employees that management is in control of the situation. You need to emphasize that your company maintains a strong strategic vision, and that management is convinced of the firm's rosy future in the tech industry. Still, layoffs are necessary to make the company more financially stable. Ever mindful of its people, your company is taking all possible measures to assist those who have lost their jobs. These reductions will help make the firm stronger, says Schmidt.
In addressing remaining employees, your message should explain the bad news and strive to preserve employee morale. Decide whether to use the direct or indirect approach. Apply as many concepts as possible from the readings. After you've written the letter, write an essay describing how you used the ideas from the readings.
One part of your company’s business (again, the same company in the Case Assignments 1 and 2) is website design and hosting services. Your company values its clients and understands that the recession has affected everyone. But lately you've realized that some clients are sapping your business's already stretched resources. One of your first patrons—Minnie MacElroy of Minnie's Miniscule Miniatures—has been a demanding client from the get-go. She asked for changes to the site design she had already approved, forcing you to put in more hours than your quote covered. Once the site went live, Minnie consistently badgered you to make other changes so often that you did them without charge just to get her off your back. When payment of her monthly hosting fee started becoming erratic, you agreed to let her slide until her business picked up. But now she's six months delinquent.
Despite repeated phone calls and several letters asking her to make a payment, you have received nothing. As a business owner, you understand how difficult it is to keep your doors open. You have had to lay off your best Web designer and are now doing your own bookkeeping instead of paying for that service. The contract MacElroy signed has a provision that if an account remains unpaid, your company may opt to render the site nonfunctional. The contract also states that your company retains the copyright on the design of any site it has created. While you are hesitant to lose any business in this economic climate, you have decided that some clients are more trouble than they are worth, and that if MacElroy doesn’t begin paying the money she owes you, you will exercise your option of closing her site.
Write a letter informing Minnie that you are closing down her site if she does not pay the money she owes you. Should you fully explain that she has been a difficult customer, or should you rely on her lack of payment as your reason for threatening to break the contract?
Address your letter to
Ms. Minnie MacElroy,
27694 Bay Point Lane,
Bonita Springs, FL 34134.
(Assignment derived from Dr. Guffey's Business Communication Newsletter)
In both letters, include a discussion to explain your approach in each case.
Submit your assignments by the module's due date.
In the email and letter from Part 1 and Part 2, you are expected to apply the concepts on negative communication to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively in written forms. Please use proper English. Sentences must be properly constructed and free of grammatical and typographical errors. No citations are needed the written communication.
In your summary, you are expected to explain why and how you incorporated the principles you used in writing your email and letter. Your explanation should make use of at least two sources from the required readings. It should be analytical and sufficiently rigorous to demonstrate synthesis of the concepts. The summary is to be prepared as an academic essay. Content should be clearly presented with a logical flow. Formal citations are required, along with a formal bibliography.
As it has been communicated to you earlier on, our company has been facing financial difficulties thus making it impossible to cater for certain activities that are necessary for the normal functioning of various departments. The tech industry has become increasingly competitive to the extent that profitability has become extremely difficult due the cost incurred in the marketing and advertising campaigns as well as other overhead costs of research and development. In the last year, the company came up with new services in an effort to diversify so that the income streams are increased for the company to remain afloat. Some new production processes were also initiated to replace the traditional ways of production and thus make the company remain competitive in the market. Unfortunately, all these efforts have not generated the expected returns despite the massive investments of capital and human resources that has been made. The company's sales have continuously dwindled resulting to losses. Thus, as a strategic move by the management, the company's board has decided to downsize its workforce after conducting a comprehensive review of the options available for the company's survival. Therefore, the management has concluded that an approximately 26 of its low-level staff will have to be eliminated.
The layoff will be effective from as 1st July, 2015. It is highly regrettable that we will lose some of the most hardworking and productive staff who have done everything within their means to see this company grow and remain competitive in the technology industry. However, it should be noted that your position will not be affected by this unfortunate but necessary directive. Therefore, you are required to remain in your working station and continue to discharge your duties as usual. Some of the key responsibilities of the laid-off workers will be moved to other departments and shared among the unaffected staff. The company management will have a meeting all the employees to try and explain the facts as they are and the reasons as to why such as directive must be implemented the soonest. The layoffs will be indefinite until the management reviews otherwise and that will depend on the company's performance and growth affect the layoff decision has already been implemented. Therefore, for those whom the action will affect should consider the decision permanent. All employees' termination rights will be observed to the later as every layoff worker would have to go through the company's adherence to employee's right policy in the Human Resources Office in order to confirm if the due process has been followed and then agree to disagree to sign an acceptance form.
For those who will be affected should understand that the termination is not an act of victimization or discrimination and does not in any way relate to the job performance or the overall productivity of a person. It is a strategic measure that has to be implemented so that the company's situation ma...
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