Operating a small business is not always an easy task! There are many aspects of a company that require constant attention and care. At any given time, issues may arise from outside sources as well as from internal conflicts.
One of the most challenging issues is found when dealing with disgruntled employees. No matter what type of small business you run, at some point along the way, one of your employees is bound to become discontented.
It’s always best to have a person on staff who has earned their Human Resources Degree, but for many small businesses this may not be an option.
So before this happens, prepare yourself with these five best practices for handling disgruntled employees.
Deal with Issues Immediately
As soon as you notice that an employee has an issue with the company, fellow co-workers or the management team, it is time to address it. The longer you take to deal with the issue, the longer the employee has to dwell on it. This additional time can quickly cause the problems to escalate and can also provide time for these issues to spread to other employees throughout the company. For that reason, deal with issue immediately by looking for a reasonable solution.
When dealing with an unhappy employee, it is easy to become frustrated. But, loosing your patience with them not only will make the situation worse, but it can also ruin your reputation with your other employees. You must make sure not to speak to others negatively about the employee – this may cause you to lose the respect of your staff. Your staff expects you to act in a professional manner and to be able to handle stressful situations as they occur.
Shhhh! Deal with Issues Privately
If an employee appears to be upset, then you should pull them aside to privately discuss any issues that they may be having. When this time comes, be sure to handle the matter in a private setting, such as a conference room or office. They will appreciate your consideration and the one-on-one meeting with you to discuss their areas of concern. Discussing issues in front of others may likely embarrass the employee and upset them further.
One cautionary note on dealing with employee of the opposite sex: it may be advisable to conduct your meeting with your office door open. Or conduct it in a conference room that has windows that face towards the other work areas in your office. This prevents a disgruntled employee from claiming other types of harassment.
Don’t Give the Employee the Power
In severe cases, an employee can disrupt the entire operation of a business if given the chance. This ability gives them power, and once they realize it, they may exaggerate their behavior. Therefore, assign one person to handle the disgruntled employee and their concerns, so that the remainder of your small business can carry on as normal. When the employee sees that they are having no effect on the company, they will have less desire to work against it.
Keep an Open Mind
As you are dealing with an unhappy employee, it is very important to maintain an open mind. There may be a valid reason behind the employee’s complaints. As a small business owner or manager you cannot see everything that happens within the office. There may be a situation in the office that needs attention. If this is the case, listen and be willing to hear the employee. They may already have a solution for the problem in mind. Furthermore, there may be personal issues that are causing the undue stress. Therefore, it is important to take the time to find out what the root of the problem is.
There are many ways to handle a disgruntled employee. When done properly and with care, you can prevent the problems escalating, and you may be able to preserve your employees.
How have you handled your disgruntled employees? Tell us in the comments.