What Managers Can Learn from the Steve Harvey Memo Fiasco


Staff Report



MISS UNIVERSE 2015®: Steve Harvey hosts MISS UNIVERSE 2015® airing Sunday, Dec. 20 (7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. © 2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Frank Micelotta / FOX.


Television host and comedian Steve Harvey has been lambasted in the media for his memo to employees, excerpts of which include “Do not approach me in the makeup chair,” “Do not open my dressing room door,” and “I want the ambushing to stop now.”

Rob Wilson, human resources expert and President of Employco USA, says, “Perhaps Harvey could have worded his memo a bit better, but he does raise a valid issue. An open-door policy is not applicable for every office environment, and for many workers, such as those with ADHD or other learning differences, constant, unplanned interruptions can really impede their ability to concentrate and get things done.”

Here, Wilson reveals some ideas for workers and managers who are struggling with this very same issue:

  • Encourage employees to proceed with caution. “Open door policies can work depending on the company’s culture, size, and if the executive’s time allows for it. It helps to win employees’ trust, and it makes the office feel more like a team and less like a dictatorship. However, when possible, it is more efficient to create a policy that encourages employees to bring issues, ideas and complaints to supervisors and lower-level managers before they head straight to the CEO. If a CEO is putting out small fires all day, they can’t tend to the real work of running the firm.”
  • Schedule regular, ongoing meetings. “If allowing for open door policy is too disruptive, management should schedule ongoing meetings with different types of employees to ask for feedback and suggestions for improvement.”
  • Be careful about memos. “Steve Harvey’s important message got lost in the delivery (i.e. using lots of caps, saying security will remove employees, etc.) Instead, when sending an all-employee message: ask someone else to read it first, wait at least 1 day after being frustrated before communicating, and once it’s sent, consider it permanent record. So ask yourself: Do I want this to be part of my workplace legend?”
  • Conduct town hall meetings to convey prerehearsed message. “Speaking in person often makes a tough message a little easier to swallow. Tone can get lost in a written message, and it allows for people to gossip among themselves and get worked up behind closed doors. But, if everyone is at the meeting and hears the message all at once, it loses potency as a gossip item and it’s easier to make sure your tone and intent are understood.”

MISS UNIVERSE 2015®: Steve Harvey hosts MISS UNIVERSE 2015® airing Sunday, Dec. 20 (7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. © 2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Frank Micelotta / FOX.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2017/05/web1_steveharvey-news.jpgMISS UNIVERSE 2015®: Steve Harvey hosts MISS UNIVERSE 2015® airing Sunday, Dec. 20 (7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. © 2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Frank Micelotta / FOX.

Staff Report