Tag: employees

Tips for Managing Difficult People at Work

Managing-Difficult-People-at-WorkManaging difficult employees is likely one of the least favorite aspects of your job.  Dealing with challenging workers can quickly bring down the morale of your entire crew.  Below are a few tips for managing the situation quickly and professionally.
– Sooner Rather Than Later:  It’s best to deal with challenging employees early on before it can begin to have an effect on the entire office.  Left unattended, the problem can cause other employees to become frustrated with you for not dealing with the situation.  Make the time to talk directly with the individual.  Before you do, it may be wise to take at least a moment for an inward reflection.  Make sure you’re not overreacting to something.  Be aware of any personal triggers for you.  Perhaps there’s something specific about the employee’s personality type that will always grate on you.  Just be mindful of your own issues before confronting the employee.  Then, when you do meet with them, it may be easier to remain calm and objective.  Try to use “I” statements instead of “you” to help avoid immediate defenses.
– Write it Down: In fact, write everything down.  Document instances when the employee was insubordinate or unprofessional in any way.  Be specific.  This can help protect you should there ever be any declaration of wrongful termination.  Be sure to also write down attempts to help the employee grow through trainings and mentoring.  It may also be helpful to document specific goals and consequences.  That way the employee has clear guidelines and expectations with little room for interpretation.
– Follow-Up: Don’t assume you can check in once and move on from there.  It’s important to follow-up with the employee to monitor progress.  Let them know how they’re doing.
Difficult employees will always exist.  Having the tools to manage them will be priceless.
Photo Credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3849

Recognizing Employee Stress and Why It's Important

Stress in the workplace is certainly not a new phenomenon.  However, in recent years you may have noticed an increase in the number of employees experiencing it or the extent to which they do.  Perhaps that is because employees are dealing with greater personal stress in part due to the economic downturn.  Job security, investments, and home values have all gone down which correlate with an increase in stress.  Personal relationships may struggle which can also spill into the workplace.  If the employee stress is personal in nature why is it even important for you to  recognize it?  Recognizing stressed employees and taking action is a great asset for employees because it can improve overall morale in the workplace.  Additionally, increased stress and anxiety can create physical health problems.  Reducing stress in employees can result in reducing insurance costs and absentee rates.  In fact, the American Institute of Stress reported that, “job stress costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion annually due to increased absenteeism, employee turnover, diminished productivity and medical expenses.”  According to The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work stress related absenteeism accounts for half of the 550 million working days lost annually.  Furthermore, “unanticipated absenteeism is estimated to cost American companies $602/worker/year and the price tag for large employers could approach $3.5 million annually.”*
Clearly it’s in the employer’s best interest to identify stressed employees, but how does one recognize it?  Stress can manifest itself in many ways for different people.  Physical symptoms may include fatigue, insomnia, headaches, backaches, and stomachaches.  Listen to employee complaints and watch for an increase in absenteeism and tardiness.  Stress can also have cognitive symptoms such as forgetfulness, poor attention to detail, difficulty concentrating, and indecisiveness.  This can result in a significant decrease in an employee’s quality of work.  There may also be obvious emotional symptoms;  moodiness, anger, anxiety, depression, and lack of motivation.  Does an employee seem more hostile or argumentative than usual?  Or perhaps they are more withdrawn.  If a typically social and humorous person is suddenly very quiet this may be a sign something is wrong.  Also, watch for other behavioral symptoms such as in increase in substance use or increase/decrease in eating habits.  Physical appearance and hygiene may also change.  Paying attention to detail will benefit the individual well-being of your employees as well as the company as a whole.

*Source: http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2012/02/01/5-ways-employers-can-reduce-worker-stress
Photo Credit:  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3062

hope & restorationWhen the dark clouds of life roll in and settle over you, it’s important to have someone who can help you tap into your inner strength so that you can survive the storm.  At The Empowerment Group, that’s exactly what we do. We welcome you to explore the possibilities that are available to you. Restore a sense of balance and direction to your life. Whether through therapy, through Family Mediation, or through relationship counseling, we can help you find a path toward resolution and relief. Empowering your life! The Empowerment Group wants to help you bring balance, peace and happiness to your life even when the storms roll in and you feel all hope is gone. We can help:
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