It's easy to be a manager when everything is going well in the workplace. However, things aren't so breezy when you have an employee - or two or three - that are unhappy with their jobs. This situation is an unfortunate reality in many offices, and it's essential that managers and executives know how to properly assuage disgruntled workers. Here are some tips on how employers can smooth out workplace problems before they become serious issues.
Act sooner rather than later
No one likes dealing with uncomfortable situations, but it's part of being a leader. The best thing you can do when you notice an employee is less-than-pleased is to address the situation immediately. Don't wait until tomorrow or next week - this will only give the unhappy worker the sense that he or she is not high on your priority list.
When you confront the issue, it's essential to do so privately. Don't address the employee in the break room or your desk. Book a private room where the two of you can talk honestly without any prying ears.
If you can't maintain your cool, it's better to regroup later than explode."
Depending on what the issue at hand is, you may also end up angry, upset or frustrated. However, the best way to get an unfortunate situation straightened out is to stay cool and collected. Resist your initial impulse to yell or get angry with the employee. Instead, you should let him or her explain what's wrong and assess it as impartially as possible.
If you can't maintain your cool, it's better to regroup later once you've had a chance to relax. Set up a time to meet with the worker again, and collect your thoughts in the interim.
Propose reasonable solutions
Once you've assessed the situation, it's important to find a way to ameliorate your employee's unhappiness. Some problems won't be solved overnight - some might not have a clear solution at all. However, if you want to keep the worker, an action or compromise should be proposed. Don't just leave the situation saying, "I'll see what I can do." This signals to the employee that you're not invested in their contentment. Instead, propose a solution or plan of action that will address the issue fairly and hopefully benefit all parties involved.
Keep thorough records
You may be tempted to wash your hands of the issue after it's settled, but there's one more thing you need to do. Check in with your company's human resource department and find out what type of documentation is required or recommended when there are employee issues. Thorough record keeping is essential for protecting yourself, your department and your company should the unhappy worker choose to file a lawsuit against you in the future.
This content brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.