The Employee’s Father Called to See if We Had Given Them “Information Properly” on Their Trip
I had a very weird phone call An employee’s father emailed me (I have business ops / hr), asked me to call me.
Since the employee (whom I call fergus) is currently out of business from the country, I was worried that something had happened with him, so I immediately recalled Dad. He was very suspicious, but eventually he came to know that he wants to talk to Fergus boss so that it can be ascertained whether Fergus had “information properly” about the dangers of his visit.
Normally his job? I think he was focused on travel, but he refused to be specific about his concern. For the record, our work is somewhat in the area of defense-related, but not directly dangerous, nor is the place where the employee is visiting dangerous.
I asked if Fergus knew that he was calling and he said no, and he did not want to know. I told them that we are not in the habit of speaking to members of the family of the employee without their consent, and if they have any concerns they should bring it to their son.
If she is worried I would be more happy to talk to the employee, but I did not feel comfortable talking to her father. I told Dad that I will pass on Fergus’s boss with his contact information, but he should not expect a call back.
Was that the right thing? I’m planning to talk to Fergus’s boss, and we’ll see what he wants to do, but I do not want to talk to Dad about this whether his son has done “briefing” or not. Is it right to feel like that? If we do not want to join, should we call or email again to express it, or just forget what happened? Do I tell Fergus about the call?
You handled it perfectly! Occasionally, when such phone calls are received, the person becomes so vulnerable to the call that they entertain the caller’s questions / demands.
It is absolutely correct to say that you do not talk to employees’ family members about work issues. (The same is true when parents ask why their child was fired, or to check the application of his or her child’s job or to investigate further.)
This is for some reasons. One, your relationship is with the employee, and your professional responsibility is for them, not their family.
Two, you have no way of knowing whether the employee has approved the call and you will be happy to give information to a relative (we all know that it can be separated, or even that is not really relative).
And three, employee information is personal – it is not something you normally do to reveal to people without informing, and it does not change just because the caller is a parent.
Oh, and four, it does one thing to help your employees reduce their parents as competent adults.
I do not think you need to call Fergus’s father back to explain to any of them. You had already understood it on the original call.
I think, though, it would be kind to tell Fergus to call his father, because he did not know that this happened and deserves to know that his father is moving around in his professional life.
When you tell her, contact the belief that she does not know, and say something like this, “Your father wanted to know whether we gave you information about the dangers of your job and your journey.
I want to tell you that I explained that we do not talk to family members about employees unless this is an emergency. ”
And a very small minority of parents who think it is okay to do this kind of work: stop interfering in the jobs of your adult children! They have grown up now.
This is incredibly low for them. Talk to your kids, not their bosses.