AM I GOING MAD OR JUST NOT MANAGING A PEOPLE ISSUE?

Do you ever feel like your whole team have it in for you? Although you think you’re explaining what needs to be done in a clear, concise and professional fashion, everything keeps going wrong, and you can’t put your finger on why.

Here at SCHR, we’re always getting calls from business owners who feel like the people issues in their businesses are not only taking up significant amounts of time, energy and brain power – but are happening  for no apparent reason.

Perhaps your staff aren’t gelling, or your team appears more unsettled and dissatisfied than usual…

Remember, while the reasons behind many people problems may remain unclear, there is almost always a solution.

Being solution-focussed

Being a business owner, manager or team leader can be tough.

Not only do you have your own job to do, you also have to manage a team of individuals, making sure that they are getting their jobs done, and dealing with the associated “people problems” that often arise in the workplace.

Since your responsibilities are tangled up with the responsibilities of others, there will be times when certain issues may lead to stress, anxiety and even anger. Take a deep breath; below, we’ll look at some of the most common issues that occur in the workplace, and offer some suggestions on how to deal with them head on.

1) He said, she said

We get lots of calls from clients trying – and failing – to keep their workforce happy and productive.

Perhaps you’ve heard that a member of your team is voicing concerns, so you hold a meeting with that individual, who assures you everything’s peachy. Later, you are made aware that the individual in question is still unhappy; they’ve been talking to other members of staff about their concerns, spreading doubt and discontent, and highlighting your failure to deal with the problems they are experiencing.

In this instance, honesty really is the best policy.

If you are going to solve your team member’s issues, you need to know what they are – this is a pretty basic principle, which every member of your staff needs to understand.  

While we all love to moan and groan from time to time, constant griping can get out of hand and impact upon morale, so if you think the office grapevine has gone sour, it’s your duty to intervene.

Make sure your staff members have someone to talk to about any issues which may arise. This person needn’t be a manager; she or he could be a sympathetic peer, able to relay important information to the relevant parties, or someone in a different department who can give an unbiased, outsider’s perspective.

Remember, your staff should feel listened to and empowered enough to speak up, so fostering an open, friendly and responsive workplace culture is tantamount.

2) Performance niggles

It can be really frustrating when a staff member who has always performed well begins to make mistakes. Once again, being honest and open, and actually asking the employee in question what they are struggling with (and if there is anything you can do to help) is likely to pay dividends.

Start softly: your employee could be experiencing difficulties outside of work, in which case, all you can offer is support and understanding.

Bear in mind that flexibility is a strength – not a weakness. If one of your valued employees is having a really hard time outside of work, consider allowing them additional time off, the opportunity to leave early or come in late on specified dates, or assistance in accessing the services of a counsellor.

However, if problems continue, you might need to remind your employee that if things don’t improve you’ll need to instigate a more formal approach.

3) In-fighting

Catty behaviour can cause chaos in teams. Before things need to be formalised – for instance, the making of an official complaint – it’s important to intervene and try to sort things out.  

Again, honesty is the best policy. In turn, sit down with those concerned and aim to understand what the issues are.

Once you have come to an understanding, bring people together to discuss their different concerns and agree a route forward.  Sometimes, it can be really helpful to call in reinforcements before things get nasty. Here at SCHR, we’re more than happy to oblige.

Get in touch

If you don’t want to do it yourself, we’re here for you. We can help manage the process and make sure it’s done the right way. We’ll ensure the correct HR procedures are followed, and that it’s as pain free as possible for you, your team, and the employee in question.

If you need us, give us a call on: 01243 717693 or message us directly