Article: 6 ways to resolve a crisis with unhappy employees

Employee Relations

6 ways to resolve a crisis with unhappy employees

Unhappy employees can not only create a negative working environment but also cause unexpected trouble. Here's how to deal with them.
6 ways to resolve a crisis with unhappy employees

One of the primary objectives of any leader or manager is to ensure that his or her subordinates do not become disgruntled and negatively affect the company culture. However, no matter how skilled you are at managing people, there will be instances where you will have to deal with an unhappy employee. Whether this is employees’ frustration, dissatisfaction, or anger, a disgruntled employee can spill over his negativity and affect the morale and productivity of the co-workers at the workplace. 

Here are a few ways you can work with unhappy employees to avert any unpleasant repercussions: 

Act on it, ASAP! 

As soon as you get to know about the problem, address it instantly. Ensure that you do not allow the issue to fester. Nipping the problem in the bud will not only help you, but it will also prevent the unhappy employee from assuming that you don’t care. Timely and appropriate resolution of an issue today will save you a lot of trouble later. 

Don’t Assume, Assess

Assuming the problem beforehand instead of assessing the situation is a mistake even the seasoned professionals commit. If an issue is reported by a disgruntled employee, don’t act reactively, instead take your time and garner all the information you can to make the decision. Find out what is the root cause of their unhappiness or ensure that you are sensitive to any lifestyle or personal reasons affecting your employee’s behavior. Look at it as an opportunity to positively influence the employee’s thinking about the company. 

Don’t forget to Document!

In the present world, even trivial reasons can become the foundation for lawsuits.  So, it is best to follow-up every communication with an unhappy employee and document your interaction. Having various standardized human resources documents such as the issuance of performance improvement plan, disciplinary action form, warnings and discussions regarding termination of employment etc. will be of immense help in the unfortunate scenario of the employee filing a lawsuit.

Keep it private

Confronting a disgruntled employee in the presence of other colleagues is not a wise option. It will give the employee an opportunity to voice their complaints in public or cause them unnecessary embarrassment. Using a private setting, such as meeting in a conference room will be the professional way to handle the situation and keep the matters to only the concerned parties. Besides, it will also save you from legal complications or affect the morale of other co-workers. 

Think Clearly, Act Calmly!

It is important for leaders to maintain their temperament. They should be sensitive and remain professional and gentle during any private confrontation. Losing your temper and getting angry will only make the situation worse. So step out and clam yourself up before addressing the issue.

Have an objective approach

Having an objective approach in the entire situation will help you to take better decisions. If your unhappy employee has created a brouhaha at the workplace and stalled the work with their issue, then they are being empowered. You need to handle them tactfully and display an objective and professional mindset. 

People want to work for leaders who treat them with dignity, empathy, and respect and care for them by giving opportunities they deserve. So, make sure you are one such leader and chances are that you won’t have any unhappy employees. 

Read full story

Topics: Employee Relations, Life @ Work

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?