Hiding Behind Email

Here’s the scenario:

The VP of Finance knows the company needs to cut costs.  He studies the health-care benefits and notices that they were very generous compared to what other companies offered. In a meeting with CEO, here commends that trimming benefits could save money, at least until sales got back on track. The next day, he receives this email from the VP of HR:

To: VP of Finance

From: VP of Human Resources

Re: Benefits Reduction

Finance VP,

I understand that you suggested a reduction in healthcare benefits as a cost saving measure. I want to let you know that I spent months creating the new benefits package that we just implemented a few months ago.

Are you trying to make me look bad? Benefits are a human resources issue, and that’s my job. I’d appreciate it if you’d stick to finance.


As you can see, the senior management team is working at cross-purposes with one another when they should be working together.  Clearly there are triangular conversations going on, where both the VP of Finance and the VP of HR are communicating with the CEO, but not communicating with each other.  What kind of collaboration is that?

These two need to get on the same page.  The VP of Finance should have thought to include the VP of HR when evaluating employee benefits.  Yet, the VP of HR can’t get so defensive when someone treads in her turn.

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Amy A. Pearl

Amy is the Chief Optimizer at Work Ignited and the author of Amazon #1 Best Seller "The Collaboration Breakthrough". For almost twenty years, Amy and her team has provided strategic solutions and simple tools to help business leaders and HR professionals ignite their passion, ignite their teams, and ignite their workplaces. Amy specializes in helping individuals and entire organizations think differently and achieve more by bringing data to life through employee surveys, psychometric assessments, and 360° feedback assessments.

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