Ask any manager about issues with workforce management and a large proportion of them will tell you that there’s at least one employee they just simply cannot warm to. It is almost an inevitability that, when working with a large group of people, be it in the workplace or otherwise, personalities will clash. These personality clashes can affect the performance of both the employee in question and others around him/her who can be rubbed the wrong way by a pervasive attitude.
The reality is that most managers spend an unreasonable amount of time with these people, often humming and hawing about whether or not to let them go for years, but never quite being able (for a variety of reasons) to pull the trigger. In light of this, here are a few quick and easy tips to combatting these individuals.
As obvious as this one may sound, sometimes you just have to take a step back and absorb the information being given to you in a rational manner. Most managers are guilty of paying a lack of attention to employees gripes rather than acknowledging what’s actually going on. They’re irritated, and at times genuinely at the end of their tether with individuals they see as unfit for the job required. At times like these, it’s important for managers to get feedback from the employee in question as it enables them to do one of two things; either comprehend what it is the employee is struggling with, or be able to lampoon them for have such a lazy excuse for a lack of effort.
The reality is that the most successful managers are often the most attentive. They know their best shot at improving the situation lies in having the clearest possible understanding of the situation – including knowing the tough employee’s point of view.
Effective Workforce Management needs clear and regular feedback
Simply complaining about employees to your friends, spouse or even you co-worker does nothing to stop the behaviour. A frank and honest discussion about what direction you would like an individual to go in is the most effective way to weed out repeated offenders. Studies reflect that employees who have been given more feedback have more direction and productivity than those who don’t.
This approach does two key things: it stops the alienation that is all-too-common between employee and employer, giving far less credence to the ‘us vs them’ mentality. It also allows you to purvey specific information that employees need in order to improve.
Whenever you’re having significant problems with an employee, it is imperative that you document what it is they’re doing and how often they’re doing it. This is one of the most salient points. Countless times managers do not have the ability to let a difficult employee go because they have no record of his or her bad behavior. This persistence is detrimental to the workforce environment and to workforce management How else is an employer supposed to have evidence of poor performance and attitude other than making a quick and easy note of it whenever it occurs? Good managers know that documentation isn’t negative – it’s prudent. Remember, if the problem is solvable by otherwise means, you can just breathe a sigh of relief and put your documentation in the back of the drawer.
This is crucial from an employee’s point of view, if one irritating action goes unpunished for one employee, the reality is that it has to go unpunished for all of them. Inconsistency gives a platform to disgruntled employees to argue when reprimanded for contravening actions. Employees look to see what you do more than what you say.
To exemplify this, if an employee is told that it’s critical they submit a certain report by a certain time, and then you are lenient with a timeframe for his counterpart you will not only upset the employee but will also be giving him ammunition to fire if you call him up on his tardiness. Pick your shots – only set standards you’re actually willing to hold to – and then hold to them.
Firing someone is the hardest thing a manager has to do. If it gets to that stage, it is important to be sensitive but firm. Don’t make excuses, don’t put it off, don’t make someone else do it. The best managers do the tough things impeccably. Always enable your employees to prove you wrong and work in a more consistent manner- blowing the lid off the gasket does nobody any favours. Sometimes being proved wrong when we think someone’s not salvageable is almost as hard as being proved right.
The HR Manager or department can be an integral part of any workforce management issues, especially when dealing with disruptive employees. In large organisations across Ireland, employee issues are documented using HR modules within a Workforce Management System. Any disputes or issues with employee behaviour in the work environment is recorded and could be outlined during employee reviews and appraisals