I was recently pulled into a meeting with the HR and my engineering manager where I was told that I am not communicating well enough with him. I even received a memo for the same.
To give some context, I work for a small team comprising of a product manager, an engineering manager, and I. For the past few months, the engineering manager has had a pattern of communication where he'd disappear for the duration of the sprint, reappear towards the end to get an update, and then present it in the management huddle before the start of the next sprint.1
Occasionally, he'd catch up mid-sprint for an update or two.
Suddenly, I got an invite for a meeting with the HR along with the engineering manager where the topic of discussion was how I was the one not communicating proactively. Although I did the the best I could to disagree with everything that was coming my way, the HR and the manager were having none of it.
At the end, I received a memo where "it was agreed upon" that I am not communicating well enough and that it "affected the productivity of the team".
What is a polite way to refute this memo given that I have never failed to deliver on my sprint tasks and that my manager has an abnormal pattern of communication?
Thank you for being there for the meeting with your engineering manager. We discussed and agreed that you are not communicating well enough. This has caused gaps in communication and further affected the productivity of the team.
As mentioned, we are a team that works together to solve the problems to achieve the desired results. Make sure you and your team are on the same page. As committed, the hope is you will work to improve your communication and increase our productivity.
We will reconvene next week. We are here for you if you need help.
The management huddle used to be my engineering manager presenting the updates. After that, at his whim, the format of the huddle changed to me delivering the updates. Since this change in pattern, he's been communicating less.
I sense a lot of us-versus-them language in the memo where you do not communicate well and we / our team gets affected by it. Given that I am a permanent employee and not a consultant, such language sounds very uncharacteristic to me. Should I call out the HR for usage of such language?