Did you feel an intangible but very persistent feeling that everyone is silently cursing you?
Have you noticed how your team looks at each other? They’re not openly hostile, but it’s as if they’re silently insulting each other.
When people think of employee problems in a dysfunctional workplace, the challenges that come to mind are usually run-of-the-mill, like yelling, insubordination, poor performance and the like. However, if you take a closer look at your office, you’ll notice that a good deal of the problems is the subtler, often ignored problems. The employee problems are often caused directly or indirectly by the elephants in the room.
Think about the common employee problems, and the business management challenges you experience yourself. Perhaps you can relate to these?
- Are your employees afraid to stand up to you for fear of being humiliated in front of their peers?
- Do you admit your mistakes to your team, or do you cover it up or pass the blame to them?
- Is backstabbing and gossip part of your employee’s morning routine?
- Does your team come late at the start of the month, only to pull all-nighters towards the end of the month?
These are all signs of a dysfunctional workplace caused by employee problems left to escalate due to shoddy business management.
There are many other symptoms of a dysfunctional workplace, and today, I’m going to tackle some of them and give suggestions for solving each.
“I thought you meant X, so that’s what I did” –where X is nowhere related to what you asked for.
Clear, honest communication is crucial in every office. If the “I thought you meant” excuse is a worn out phrase in your organization, then it’s time to establish ground rules in how everyone talks to each other.
This is one of the most common employee problems in the book, luckily there’s an easy solution:
Insist that misunderstanding something doesn’t let them off the hook. Don’t give your team the impression that you’re always willing to give them a second chance, because if you do, they will abuse it.
Next time, check for clarity. Ask the recipient of the request to explain, in his own words, the nature of your request. Ask your team to do this with each other as well.
Credit is awarded only to the star players and big bosses, not to the people who did the real work.
Is teamwork one of your company’s core values? Great. Okay, but who gets recognized when it’s time to award hard work?
Everyone who contributed to whatever success, big or small, your team experiences should be recognized. Many employee problems are caused by improper recognition and credit. Sure, promotions and company awards are only given to the top contributors, to the leaders like you perhaps. But you shouldn’t forget to cite the help you received from others whenever you receive kudos.
Gossip and backstabbing
Any office that suffers from excessive gossip is clearly dysfunctional. For one, time spent gossiping on non-work related issues could be better spent on productive tasks. Two, gossiping ruins professional relations and hinders with team dynamics.
To counter one of the most prevalent employee problems, you can either enforce a no gossip policy or establish a regular no-holds bar group discussion where everyone can talk about their concerns and air their grievances towards one another.
If any of these employee problems are present in your team, I suggest you take action before it infects the whole organization. Don’t turn a blind eye. These problems won’t solve themselves on their own!
It’s your turn to share, what other employee problems are plaguing your office? Share them in the comments section or send them to me, if you’d like my help.