Writing Assignment 1:
William is a volatile employee, always angry, consistently late, always a victim, nothing is ever his fault. He’s even made some disparaging, threatening comments to a few of the other employees and administrators. He’s got to go.
As Head of Human Resources, the job has come to you and you’ve got a meeting with William on Thursday at 9 A.M informing him of his termination. After the meeting, security will escort him out of the building.
The Vice President of your company is aware of William, and of the situation. She has arranged to have your meeting in a semi-public area and to have security close by. She trusts you because she knows that you have delivered bad news in the past and you have an ability to explain things to diffuse a situation.
But she wants you to e-mail your plan to her (the Vice President) ahead of time so she can review it.
After an intro paragraph to the boss about the e-mail, put together a list of at least 5 bullet points of tactics you plan to use and include those points in the e-mail. Follow each bullet point with at least 3 or 4 sentences giving the details and how you plan to proceed.
For example, your first bullet point might be something like…Try to put William at ease at first. (Then follow it with your plan.) I plan to tell William that he got a good report from Arthur, the head of shipping. Arthur said William participated well in last month’s accident drill. I plan to casually ask him about his son and how he is doing in school.
While you should never outright lie in this type of meeting, you can certainly use terms like doesn’t fit into the direction the company is taking or need to have team players who are all working toward the same goal, etc. You can also mention that he's been informed of his volatile behavior in the past, but he has done nothing to improve that.
Be creative. Has William been there for sometime? A severance? A suggestion for future employment? (You wouldn’t want to promise a good reference.)
Don’t say, William has anger issues without giving an example.
For example, something like…
I plan to tell William that his anger issues are causing problems among the employees and will show him the security video of him smashing Susan’s computer and threatening her if she tells Ms. Bosley.
Same with each bullet point you plan to make. Bullets are for a quick summary. You don’t have to go into great detail, but do need to give some details. The boss will get the idea from a quick specific.
While this is an important document, the audience is the Vice President, who you know quite well. You could certainly start off an informal document like this with a Dear Anne,
The assignment should be long enough to communicate what is necessary. Too long or too short are equally ineffective.
Clarity, specifics, punctuation, and grammar should all be considered.