Q: One of my younger employees recently missed a staff meeting. Her only response was to say “I was late.” No explanation or apology was offered, either to me as her supervisor or to the president of our company, who also commented on her absence. Our company policy is that these meetings are mandatory. Is it too much to expect an apology, or should I just assume that younger people don’t know what correct behavior is?
A: I’m appalled. Young or not, longtime or new, if any employee misses a meeting, he needs to seek out his boss immediately, apologize, and explain why the situation happened. If the meeting leader is someone other than the employee’s boss, he should apologize to the meeting leader as well. The point about getting to the boss before the boss gets to the employee is important. If someone was late to work and missed a meeting at my office and didn’t immediately come see me to explain why, I’d go looking for him. And believe me, if that happened, he’d discover he much preferred being the one seeking me out.