A recent Gallup poll discovered that nearly 87% of all employees are not happy in their position. While some are only slightly happy, this statistic shows that as a manager and/or business owner, you are likely to come across a very unhappy employee at some point during your career. What can you do to keep this employee from killing company morale and from ruining your personal motivation? Here are some tips to help you deal with a disgruntled employee.
Stay Polite and Professional
If anyone is going to be shouting, let it be the disgruntled employee. Getting into a shouting match, even if it’s behind a closed door, is never a good idea. You look unprofessional and hot-headed, two things none of the rest of your employees want to think about their boss. Plus, if you stay calm, the other person is more likely to stay calm, too.
Don’t Just Let it Stew
As soon as you see a problem, you need to address it. Letting it fester will only ensure a larger, more dramatic issue down the road. Taking care of something right now, whether it’s an attitude problem or an interpersonal conflict, can help everyone involved refocus and return to work, without killing company morale.
Don’t Broadcast It
One of the biggest mistakes employers make is trying to deal with the disgruntled employee in front of everyone. This is a power play and it will only make the employee resent you even more than he already does. Instead, take care of the issue behind a closed door, where the employee feels he can say what he really needs to say without being shamed in front of his peers.
Keeping documentation of your meetings, of the employee’s meetings with HR, and of warnings, discussions, termination, and even of other employee’s reactions and opinions can protect your business from a weighty law suit down the road.
Don’t Let that Employee Take Over Your Life
If you spend your days and nights worrying about what to do about this person, if their problems are eating up a huge amount of your time and attention, you need to just let it go. That person has taken control away from you, and you can only take it back by refusing to let yourself be burdened by them. Simply deal with the issue and then move on.
Bring in a Third Party to Listen
One of the most important functions of an HR department, or a third party of some sort, is to help you resolve conflicts. When you have an employee that is upset, it’s important to have more than one witness to hear them out. That way, they will feel like you are listening to them. Additionally, you will have protection if it comes down to a “he-said vs. she-said” situation.