What is the best way to deal with this work situation?
My boyfriend really enjoys the work he does at his job, but more and more frequently, he has been getting emails that completely demotivate him.
Some background: It is a small office. 30 employees total, 15 in my boyfriend’s department, 8 on his specific team. His office is one of 6 nationwide, each with approximately 30 employees. He is well liked and respected by both his coworkers and the higher ups. He has never violated the company’s policies, and he has never been reprimanded for any actions. The only individual feedback he has received has been incredibly positive, and his overseers are very pleased with his performance.
About a month and a half ago, he received the first unpleasant mass email to his department, which had been sent by his immediate boss. It was criticizing the employees for “talking” at their desks in a very elementary-school-like manner. Upon receiving this email, my boyfriend went into his boss’s office and said, “I was a bit concerned about the email I just received. [The girl I sit next to] and I speak occasionally throughout the day, but our conversations are typically about work-related projects, and I didn’t realize this type of conversation was disruptive. Is this a problem?” His boss responded, “No, no, no! You’re completely fine; don’t worry about it. That email was not directed toward you. There are a few other people that seem to be conversing a bit too frequently.”
He left his boss’s office feeling kind of insulted that such an email would go out to everyone, if only a few people were the problem. Why not just confront those people directly? Why bring down the morale for the rest of the people who are doing their jobs correctly? But, he decided to just let it go and move on.
Since that incident, he has been receiving similar emails twice a week. The emails are always sent from his immediate boss to his entire team, and they are always written in a very scolding-child way, always about something my boyfriend is not doing wrong.
(In my opinion, they seem overly strict as well. Yesterday’s was about how cell phones may not be kept on the desk; they need to be kept in the desk. The email went on to say that if the boss sees them on the desk again, the person will be given a verbal warning. If he sees them on the desk after the first warning, the phone will be TAKEN AWAY. Like, seriously?!?! Doesn’t this seem a bit elementary???)
Additionally, they have started to institute “technology-free Wednesday mornings,” during which the employees are not permitted to use their computers for 4 hours and must spend the time organizing their project files. My boyfriend (and one other worker) had previously been exempt from this policy because of their outstanding statistics, but now, after some incident, there will be a nation-wide company policy that all employees have technology-free Wednesday mornings.
My boyfriend feels insulted by this type of treatment. He is a hard worker and loves the work he does, but every time one of those stupid emails goes out, his motivation drops, and he thinks, “Why am I busting my ass for a company that treats me like a child?” The emails (which are not even relevant to him) are seriously decreasing his job satisfaction. What should he do?
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.