Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Trouble Employees: Bad for Business or Simply Misunderstood?

Although every manager has had to handle a trouble employee or two before, few bosses actually take the time to address and try to improve poor worker behavior. Instead of giving these employees a real chance by speaking to them directly, many managers either force someone else to deal with them or immediately try to find ways to let them go. The sad truth is that these types of managerial decisions range from irresponsible to reckless and may actually end up hurting your business as you lose talented employees.

Yes, there are going to be some employees who are more of a hassle than they’re worth, but sometimes a disgruntled worker is secretly an excellent employee with just a few hang-ups. If you can get to the root of what troubles your team member by asking the right questions, you may just find that you can turn him or her into a model employee. Next time you have a meeting with a trouble employee, try asking the following questions.

“What Do YOU Want Out of Your Job?”

Most bosses don’t take into consideration the idea that his company may be coming up short on giving employees what they want. We’ve all known that one employee that’s been with a business for over a decade and is greatly cynical and dissatisfied with how things are run. This sort of person tends to do little work, make snide remarks, and be a real source of negativity in nearly all situations.

The trouble employee you have now could very well become this person if left unchecked. In order to stop this from happening, you need to ask then what it is that he or she wants. Sometimes, it’s an easily corrected matter of flex time, a more manageable workload, or a request for time-off. If it happens that the employee is demanding higher wages or a promotion, you can always tell him or her that it will be under consideration. In any case, asking this question goes a long way towards making an employee feel like he’s being understood.

“Do You Feel You’re in the Right Position?”

Sometimes the position an employee holds may no longer be what they want to do. This is particularly true with workers who’ve been with the same company for a considerable stretch of time. If you are seeing that the employee who has been slacking off has been working the same position for years, then maybe it’s time to switch things up. Ask them whether they’d be happier doing something else for the company. A change of scenery may be all that’s needed to improve morale and work ethic.

Larger companies that deal with multiple divisions or departments can be incredibly advantageous to an unhappy worker. Instead of simply allowing an employee to languish in the same position for long stretches of time, your business can instead use a move to a new department as a way to train him or her to be a more efficient worker and a greater asset to your company.

“How Can I Help You?”

The most important question you can ask an employee is “how can I help you?” This question not only gives you an opportunity to get a direct answer for what your employee wants or needs but it also shows that you are concerned about their work effort. It’s a subtle way to both show support and also troubleshoot the issue at hand. Make sure that at some point during your meeting with the employee that this question is asked. You may be surprised at what you’ll hear in return.

By asking all these questions and more, a manager can decide how a trouble employee can be helped and his behavior corrected. One should never be afraid to hold regular meetings to make these sorts of inquiries. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll find yourself keeping the right employees and getting rid of the bad ones far more easily. 

If you do find that some employees can’t be helped and you are in need of a staffing agency’s services, then be sure to contact us!

Labels: , , ,