Blog: How to help star employees struggling with workplace issues

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How to help star employees struggling with workplace issues

What role can the HR play to help the employees going through problems? What kinds of strategies are best to deal with them? Is it better to retain them or to let them go?
How to help star employees struggling with workplace issues

A few days back I happened to read comments from Former Indian player, coach and Chief Selector Sandeep Patil on one of the heroes & chief Architect of World Cup 2007, 2011- Gautam Gambhir.

Gambhir was the most talented among all the younger group of players he had managed and owing to his talent, hard work, ambition and attitude, he made it big in the Indian team, but the same attitude brought his downfall within the Indian team and eventually, Gambhir found it difficult to even make it playing eleven squad.

He experienced a fall from grace for a man who was once viewed as a superstar of Indian cricket after Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid, to the situation where he struggled to establish his place within the lineup. 

How to help the employees

Cricketing world and corporate companies do have a lot in parallel. You work in a team, as an individual you are constantly under threat for your spot. You have mentors, higher authorities who always keep a watch on your performance and even a single mistake or attitude such as Gambhir's not to continue on the tour of England (after being struck by a bouncer), though reports showed he could play; could cost you dearly in long run.

Even though all people are different from each other, if they work towards the same goals and have the same vision about how to achieve their goals, they can achieve success. This is where the challenge lies viz., how to achieve a common vision about achievements. 

So what can be done in such cases to achieve better performance, motivate employees and avoid clashes going awry?

A possible solution is to listen to the employees’ grievances both formally and informally and let them know if their grievances are taken care of, instead of just noting down or making them fill a survey.

If their actions are hurting the productivity and environment within the team or company then let them know and hear them out what they think about it and in few cases even go to an extent of charting out some strategy to work better in case they find themselves in a similar predicament again. Is it a professional or personal cause?

Though personal problems cannot be solved by the HR, they certainly can be backed by the team and, organization in some way to let the employee feed off from the positivity. Let the employees know their voice has been heard and best dealt with.

One important thing everyone in the firm should follow is to stay true to the company’s values. Many a time, employees feel wronged by the employers and in that case, the psychological barrier grows between the two and when it becomes wider it could lead to an employee becoming more frustrated and eventually quitting the job. It's not just the employee quitting the job, but their reason for quitting gives competitors an opportunity to attack the company’s reputation or make a better offer to mid-senior level employees.

For example, Oyo Rooms according to the news in the livemint,  sent unsolicited job offers to senior- and mid-level employees who worked at rivals FabHotels and Treebo Hotels, in a bid to get their talent on board in business development, sales, and marketing teams. The emails, sent by Oyo’s talent acquisition team, offered a 20% salary hike and a joining bonus of Rs1 lakh if the employees accepted the offers within 24 hours.

If the statement of Oyo is to go by, it sent invitations only to the people from other teams who had shown interest in working for them. Clearly, there is more to it than just high perks.

Employee retention is one of the major aspects HR struggles to deal with. The hikes, perks and above all, the happiness of the employees, go behind dictating what could be the employees’ best interest and if they would choose to stay in the organization or look out for better prospects.

In fact, in a study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.

And one way to practice and bring into effect this could be MINDFULNESS practice which includes breathing, asanas, meditation techniques as well as exercises which primarily are focused on being in the present moments.

Even Yoga and meditation go a long way in enhancing mind-body balance which is indirectly connected to a person’s wellbeing.

The ways to make employees happy and productive are numerous and it’s important to notice, know and work them out as to what went wrong. The result derived and experience from that event can be used as an indicator of better future situations and avoid unhappiness at the workplace.

One more thing is to have an open door policy in these cases and counseling unit for them. The HR should have discussions within the cabin and still help the employees.

After all, the employees are the representatives of the companies when they deal with client and customers.

To conclude, I can say Indian cricket team missed out on one of the finest captains which they never had. His 100% win record as captain as well as excelling for IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Rider both as player and captain (won 2 IPL Trophy in 2012, 2014) highlighted his talent and what he could have brought to the table. Indian team from 2012-2015 went through a period of transition and having a senior player of the caliber of Gautam Gambhir would have helped youngsters as well. But from Sandeep Patil’s comment, it looked like attitude was behind his downfall. 

So question to pose are couldn’t he be counseled better? As a senior pro and winning the World Cup did he take his place for granted for those few years? Couldn’t someone just talk to him one on one helped him to realize where he is at fault? Or was he never the fault at? Was his unhappiness to a situation appropriate? And did he disrupt harmony within the team? In any case, it’s been an unfortunate event for Indian cricket team as they failed miserably when India toured South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia in subsequent years (2013-2015).

In the same way: It’s imperative organization don’t lose out to star players over attitude or unhappiness at the workplace. It’s important voices be heard, right actions being taken and maintain the positive environment at the workplace. Groupism, politics could disrupt the harmony of the workplace and with that, the productivity of employees and employers is in jeopardy. The employee cuts, unfortunately, have to be made and nothing else should matter above the collective goal of the firm.

Topics: Blog, Strategic HR, Sports, Books & Movies

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