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my employee keeps making meaningless edits to my work — Ask a Manager

my employee keeps making meaningless edits to my work

A reader writes:

I am a new manager who is quite a bit younger than my employees. One employee has developed an annoying trait of “doctoring” all my documents that I send out. For example, if I write a policy and procedure for one of our tasks, he’ll go through and make minor changes — literally things like adding the word “the,” or changing “design team” to “Design Team.” Most recently, he edited an intake form I had created by putting in more spacing for a couple of the fields. After he edits these, he sends it to me and the rest of the team with a “Let me know if this is OK.”

I can’t say there’s anything inherently wrong with these minor tweaks, but it seems to me that he just wants to get the last word in. He expressed displeasure when I was chosen for this role, and my colleague seems to think he has also trouble reporting to me because of some sexist elements (I am female).

I don’t want to discourage my employees from pointing out things in my documents and spreadsheets that are incorrect, but these nit-picky things on everything seems like a power play. I don’t even know how to tell him “Quit making meaningless changes” without sounding petty. Any thoughts?

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.


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