5 Tips for Handling Employee Problems

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It’s happening again!  You are faced with employee problems, in the workplace. The problem is effecting your business operations and can not be ignored.  The problem will affect other employees and disrupt work from being completed.

Office chaos

So it’s your job to address this problem – You must be the owner, manager or supervisor.  What should you do?  I recommend the following 5 tips for handling employee problems:

  1. Don’t ignore the problem. Most people don’t like to deal with conflict, but allowing a problem to fester will effect morale and productivity.  You need to speak to the employee immediately as the problem becomes evident.  No, its not fun, but ignoring it can affect your business, other employees and even your customers.
  2. Don’t make it personal. I recommend you use the “I” pronoun instead of blaming with the “you.”  Say something like, I understand this is not a typical job function.  Today, I need you to pitch in and help the team.  I know the workload is demanding, but it is temporary and I need you to step up to the plate.
  3. Don’t Assume. We all know that the word assume means to make an “ass of you and me.” Don’t take things for granted. Begin a conversation with the problem employee behind closed doors.  It is very important to understand what internal or external factors caused this problem.  Hear the employee out completely! Provide resources or counsel to alleviate the conflict.  Follow up on this action until the problem goes away.
  4. Make sure you are professional. This is your business.  The problem employee is here to do a job.  Offer counsel in a constructive manner.  Sometimes a manager must be harsh.  You are not there to make friends, but to run a business.
  5. Suggest Improvements.  Expect confrontations in the workplace.  Everyone will not get along all the time.  It is your job to guide, teach and train employees to mind there P’s and Q’s and perform the job they were hired to do.  If the employee fails to heed your counsel, it is time to take corrective action.  This may be a verbal, written warning, suspension or termination.  Constructive suggestions, monitoring actions and addressing these problems immediately will help your business thrive.

If you still have trouble managing an employee problem – seek professional help from Human Resources.  Performance and misconduct issues often require corrective action.  A well trained manager or an HR professional can and will guide you through this process in the most efficient manner.

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