Handling Employees With Problems


As a manager or business owner it is important to respond to employees as soon as possible when they have questions, concerns or problems.

When employee issues are put off and not addressed in a timely fashion there is the risk of creating a bigger, more complex problem or even loss of a valued employee, as in the case below.

Nancy was struggling to keep up with the workload assigned to her.  She felt overwhelmed, stressed and under trained.  She told her manager that she felt her workload was too much and she needed additional training.  He responded by telling her that he would discuss it with her later when he had more time.

Several days went by and Nancy did not hear from her manager. She really did not want to bug him, as she knew he was busy, but she was falling further behind in her work and it was making her stressed and physically ill.

Nancy saw her manager in the break room and mentioned that she really needed to discuss her workload problem, because she was very concerned about how much she was falling behind.  Her manager patted her on the back and told her, “do the best you can, we all have a lot of work to do and it will eventually get caught up.”

The stress was too much for Nancy and even though she felt bad about the situation she felt she had no choice but to quit.  Her manager’s response when questioned about her quitting her job without any notice was, “she wasn’t the right person for the job.”  He never took the time address the issues that Nancy had expressed, and to find out what the problem really was.

Any manager or business owner who turns a “deaf ear” to employee’s questions and complaints will have a high turnover.  Their reason to explain this will always point to an outward problem, not inward where the issue actually lies.

Managers and employers, who actually take the time to listen to employee issues and then respond, show employees that they are valued and what they have to say is valued by them.

Most of the time employee questions can be answered quickly.  Very few employee issues require “fast action.”  What they do require is acknowledgement and then a time frame given to the employee in which the problem will be resolved or discussed further.

“An employer’s most expensive assets is their employees, take the time to listen and resolve their issues, it is quite costly if you do not.”


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