Common Employee Relations Issues (And How To Fix Them)
In an ideal world, a business owner and his employees would be a perfect team. They would share that magical camaraderie, be friends, and have an incredibly upbeat world of their own while at work. Heck, in an ideal world, they'd even help you get business funding. Unfortunately, most, if not all, companies have a reality that is different from the ideal that we all aspire to. Every workplace has employee relations issues, and many of them are, in fact, fixable. Here’s how to make things a little closer to the ideal.
You have two employees that constantly bicker.
Inter-employee arguments are very commonplace. At times, they are overt. Other times, it may actually take you a while before you realize that there’s some serious rivalry going on. When this happens, it’s your responsibility to diffuse it as quickly as possible. If you notice one employee constantly instigating it, bring the other employee in for a meeting and get to the bottom of it. If the instigator doesn’t stop, fire them for creating a negative atmosphere. If you can’t figure out who keeps causing problems, then you may need to bring in a mediator from HR to solve the issue.
You have an employee that tries to undermine you.
This is much more common than you’d believe, and trust us when we say that it hurts. A lot. It's not only a major betrayal of your trust - it's the fact that an employee that does this can also cost you a lot of money in terms of keeping investors interested, keeping customers happy, and keeping good employees around your workplace.
When you actually begin to notice that your employee is badmouthing you to others, trying to call the shots, and causing other authority problems, it’s time to gather evidence, then fire them for insubordination.
Your employee is passive-aggressive.
An employee who is unwilling or unable to confront a problem that arises will likely become passive-aggressive. If you’re dealing with this, it’s important to encourage employees to speak up about what’s bothering them. If they continue to grunt, moan, and simple “forget” the projects, it may be time to give them a warning – or just let them go.
Your employee is making unreasonable demands for time off.
An absentee employee isn’t going to do anyone any good. It’s important to drive home the fact that all employees are required to do their share, show up on time, and get their work done. If they keep making excuses, or are just not able to show up on the agreed-upon hours, you need to call them into your office and ask them if they want to reduce their hours. Explain to them that the current absentee behavior isn’t acceptable, and that they have to either shape up or lose the job. If that doesn’t work, your best bet is to let them go and look for someone who can actually do the workload.
Your employee has a body odor issue.
It’s awkward, but it’s a must. You have to confront it. Just bring them into your office, and tell them they need to wear deodorant/bathe/brush their teeth. Explain to them that it’s been an issue, and that you don’t want it to get in the way of their growth.
You have a very emotionally stunted employee.
This can take a variety of different forms. They may be the ones who have anger outbursts, or crying fits. Perhaps they don’t understand reasonable behavior in an office setting. Or, maybe they’re just one of those people who can’t admit that they are wrong. Whatever the reason is, unprofessional behavior cannot be tolerated for too long.
When this happens, you are going to have to gauge how bad the damage is, and pull them aside. Explain to them why their behavior is unacceptable, and tell them your expectations. If they do not shape up, there will be a point in which they will have to look for another job. If their behavior is due to a mental disorder or psychological issue, you may want to ask them to get help. Either way, you need to tell them it’s not acceptable.
Employee relations issues should be handled immediately.
The name of the game is professionalism. If your employees can’t stay professional, then there’s a problem that needs to be addressed, and soon. When necessary, consider contacting an outside source for help if it becomes too much of a problem to handle on your own.