Problem employees happen to big or small businesses. However, for small business owners, the impact of dealing with a problem employee may seem larger than life. People often shy away from confrontation and conflict, choosing to overlook potentially destructive employee behavior rather than dealing with it. While it’s basic human nature to want to avoid conflict, that’s a luxury a business owner doesn’t have.
Effective communication between both employer and employee can make the world of difference. In a few situations, you may be able to avoid reaching the melt down stage by simply talking it out. Here are a few tips:
Continual feedback – communicate with your employees on a regular basis. If they are doing something well, tell them. Likewise, if they are doing something wrong or that you do not appreciate, tell them right away. Don’t let it fester.
Use “we” instead of “I” – you may be unknowingly doing things that are triggering the employee’s behavior. Therefore, it’s important to ask them, “What can WE do to work better together?”
Take the guess work out– sometimes you can avoid problems all together by simply telling employees when they are hired what pet peeves you may have. In other words, if you have a problem with an employee taking personal calls at work, tell them. If you prefer they keep their excessive socializing with other employees until after hours, tell them. Clearly layout your expectations.
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