Unfortunately, no workplace is immune to employee issues. In fact, if you EVER work alongside or with other people, you probably face some nagging issue making your work-life less than idyllic.
Types of employee issues
Some employee issues are a product of the work environment and company. On the other hand, some are related to the type of work or industry. While the list of employee issues can be extensive, there are several common concerns that left unchecked can be the death of any positive workplace culture.
Don’t despair though! No issue is insurmountable. Keep reading for the peaceful resolutions you’ve been searching for.
Resolutions for Common Employee Issues
Gossip runs rampant in most workplaces. It’s one of those employee issues that feels unavoidable. But the problem with gossip is how its intrigue and mystic provides fuel to those lingering partial truths and turns it into a whole speculative truth.
Over time, gossip left unchecked by management, or worse yet, participated in, results in low employee morale and a toxic culture.
Nobody likes to feel out of the loop or talked about.
Some level of gossip is expected, as people want to know what’s going on in their workplace and to discuss workplace issues. But how do you know when it’s time to act and get a handle on office gossip?
Signs It’s Time to Act:
- If gossip is disrupting work from being completed
- Hurting employees’ feelings
- Damaging relationships
- Causing low employee morale and motivation
Gossip can be a big part of a toxic workplace. Here are five signs the culture at work is poisoning you.
Next, it’s time to take a pulse on your workplace. Ask yourself:
- Is there a consistent theme in the gossip?
- Are you sharing enough information with your workforce?
- Do employees trust their manager enough to bring up important topics?
If employees distrust their leader or feel that information is lacking, they’ll fill in the blanks with potential misinformation. If negative behaviour continues after taking any necessary steps to alleviate unwanted gossip from a management perspective, then offer coaching to troublesome employees.
The final step is to start a regiment of progressive discipline should the coaching have no positive effect.
In every work-related decision, employees want equal treatment.
At the same time, many workplaces still have a “golden child.” You know, a person who seems to be valued more than others as reflected in the assignments they receive, time off requests, different behavioral guidelines to follow, and opportunities afforded to them.
Favoritism of one employee, without real merit, can lead to serious consequences like widespread resentment, damaged team unity, low motivation, and even stifled company growth.
So, what can you do about it?
The perception of favoritism can be managed through professional behaviours including:
- Recognition of hard work from everyone
- Inclusion of everyone in important matters
- Having an open-door policy where employees can come talk to you privately, without judgement, and with a listening ear
It’s considered a faux pas for salary information to be shared among colleagues. Yet the gossip mill doesn’t break down often and it’s human nature to exaggerate such numbers to save face.
To avoid complaints around raises and pay equity, ensure a standard procedure is in place so everyone knows what it takes to get a raise. Also freely allow employees to discuss their pay with you to make sure they feel heard and considered.
This is especially important for longer-tenured employees as they can feel that newbies are paid better starting in the same wage bracket. This also gives a manager the opportunity to clearly outline the policy regarding confidentiality of pay.
In the era of economic recession, budget cuts, and operational and financial efficiency, departments are frequently understaffed. This results in heavy workloads, time spread too thinly, and increased stress levels, none of which are conducive to high product quality or employee output.
In fact, aside from pay, this is probably the most common of the employee issues.
Provide employees continuous improvement opportunities to make sure they are able to complete all the tasks assigned to them. Also, listen to the reason behind their concerns about workload increase. Many managers are not as attuned to the context as they might think.
Manager Skill Set
A lousy manager can break a department whether it be because of micromanagement, incompetency, or being overbearing.
Get this: The number one reason employees quit is because of their manager…a “bosshole”.
That means this is one of the employee issues that needs checking RIGHT AWAY.
So, take a look at each department’s needs and then recruit and develop a person that will lead through action and behaviours that inspire staff to perform at their best. Strong leadership can make or break your business.
Do you think YOU might be the “bosshole?” Or do you work for one? Click here for help.
Get help with employee issues
Need to address employee issues in your workplace? Click here for information on our Human Resources Consulting services as well as how we can assist with investigations into organizational culture issues. Contact us to see how we can help.
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Did you learn a lot from this post about employee issues? Here are three more to check out:
Employee Recognition: 10 Creative & Fun Ways to Thank Your Employees
Effective Communication Techniques to Bring Your Workplace Harassment Policy to Life
Effectively Investigating Workplace Bullying and Harassment Hazards and Incidents
This article was originally published in 2019 and was updated in 2021.