Running a business

Running a Business: Handling 13 common employee problems

As a business owner, you will have to deal with many kinds of employee-related problems. Some common examples of employee problems:


- Poor performance: Is it chronic? What do the employee think how she/he has done? Any problems outside work? Do they need any training? Or, just get another person in?


- Chronic lateness: Is is just a transportation difficulty thing? Office too far? How can we support? Or, is it just habitual lateness? Then, reprimand, warn ('three strikes and you are out')


- BO (Body odor): Get the person to take a bath and come in clean clothes. Explain how it affects the business. Do it now.


- Wrong person for the job: A mistake during hiring? Can we train the person? Or, may be the person is not a 'culture fit' with your organization's way of doing things. Have you tried talking to the person about it? In terms of how this 'misfitting' affects the business.


- Poor health: Short-term sickness or long-term? Do we need insurance? Does the person need insurance help?


- Neurotic: Get professional opinion and help for the person. Check up on the person's insurance. Help.


- Office romance: What is our policy on this? Can they continue working efficiently afterward?


- Private work (calls, errands): Do we need to worry? The person is doing the job very well and on time. As long as we are all reasonable...


- Moonlighting: You set the policy. Some, for example, are okay when employees do it on their own time, and are not working for the competition. But, your company, your policy.


- Criminal activity (Theft, pilfering fraud, physical fights, harassment): These all should be dealt with immediately. How long has this been going on? No cover-ups. Summary dismissals aren't enough. The authorities must be informed asap.


- Personal tragedy: Death of closed ones, personal injury leading to disability, etc. They came to work for you. Do all you can to help. This is your moment of reckoning.


- Accidents (at work, outside): Assist first, investigate later, Cooperate with authorities and agencies.


- You are the problem: Maybe you are a micromanager, always looking over people's shoulders. Or you set tough deadlines all the time and get verbal when these aren't met. You never listen to anyone. Or, you are being too familiar/close to one/some while ignoring others. Sometimes, the rot starts at the top.


Thank you for reading.
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