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When Parents Call…I Am Not Kidding

So what do you do when a parent calls to complain about how you are treating their adult-age child at work?

This is not a joke…really.

When I was an educational administrator in the early 1990’s rarely a week went by that a building principal would not complain about a parent coming into their office demanding their child not be disciplined. Often this demand was made because the parent made it very clear, their child would NEVER do anything wrong. I am not kidding.

Flash forward to the early 2000’s and guess what…some parents began calling college professors complaining about the grades their adult-age child was receiving. I have heard this story from several current or former college professors. I am not kidding.

Flash forward to the present. I know of two incidents locally (within a 30 mile radius of each other) where parents have called the managers of their adult-age children. In one incident, the mother of a mid-20s age employee called to ask when their child’s benefits would begin (the question was easily answered by looking in the Employee Handbook). The other incident involved a mother calling in regards to adult child’s evaluation (she was not happy with it). I am not kidding.

Welcome to a brand new challenge in employee management! I do not want to make a broad generalization about our newest generation in the workforce, because I do not believe this is a far-reaching problem. At least not yet. However, it has occurred and I suspect it will occur again.

Do you know what you should say to these parents when they call? Do you know what you should say to the employee when their parents call? Do you know what additional employee training you may need to implement to avoid these types of situations in your organization? If not, you might want to begin thinking about those answers. I am not kidding.

Source: bryansbizblog.com

Weekly postings on management and organizational issues for both businesses and non-profits. from Bryan Nelson of Vista Management Solutions.

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