5 Workplace Conversations You Should Never Have on a Friday
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Although holding your tongue until Monday may be an exercise in patience, alerting your employees to changes in the workplace at the end of the week can be a disaster. Even if you're eager to make personnel changes or impart news to your staff, experts say it's probably better if you don't do it on a Friday. Employees who have no reason to stress may spend the entire weekend worrying, and if only part of the staff gets the message, rumors could spread that disrupt the whole company. We checked in with experts who gave us their thoughts on the five types of messages that should never be delivered at the end of the week.
1. A reprimand
If the employee isn't going to be terminated or suspended, a reprimand or criticism is better held until Monday, says Jennette Pokorny, vice president of marketing and communications at EverNext HR.
"It's always better to wait until Monday if it's not a time sensitive topic," Pokorny says. "When you have to sit down with someone and share something negative, it's not just going to affect their weekend -- it's going to affect your weekend, too."
In cases where a reprimand cannot wait -- instances of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior or dangerous behavior -- the employee must be dealt with immediately, Pokorny clarifies. But in less serious cases, having the conversation on a Friday can lead to an even worse conversation the next week.
"If you talk this out on a Friday, the employee could spend the weekend stewing over it and come back on Monday angry and withdrawn. This could affect the entire office," she says. "But if you do it on a Monday, often any negativity can be handled in one day."
2. A less than favorable review of a project or performance
Avoid any conversation that may cause employees to question their value, says Tracy Benson, founder and CEO of business consultancy On the Same Page.
"Avoid shaking their confidence or chiseling at their self-esteem," Benson says. "This includes a less than favorable performance evaluation or negative feedback on a project, outcome or issue."
These types of conversations are especially dangerous when they're had in haste, Pokorny says.
"You can't say, 'Hey Phil, I know it's Friday at 4:55, but you're doing a crappy job. Have a good weekend!'" she says. "He's going to go home feeling like crud, not really sure what he's doing wrong."
When conversations like these are had on a Monday or Tuesday, the person getting the bad news will have time to follow up with their manager for clarification or to discuss ways to improve, Pokorny says.