(Guest post by Anshuman Kukreti)

Handling Disgruntled Employees: Is it that tough a task?

Heading a team of employees is not an easy task every time. Just like out there in the world, here too you’ll observe a variety of workers dealing with different levels of satisfaction. There are many aspects that need your attention and amidst all this, tackling angry employees is a thing almost every HR manager tries to avoid.

Yes, you need to cater to the needs of all your employees to ensure maximum workforce engagement. But a negative environment would surely bother you, right?

So, this brings us to people that aren’t happy working in your team or organization, for that matter of fact. Obviously, there are problems you need to decipher, but how?

The section to follow will build on the same line of thought and seek to offer a pragmatic approach to the problem at hand. Give it a good glance to get the hack you need.

Don’t Let It Rankle

Nip it in the bud right away! The moment you see there’s a problem intensifying, that’s the right time to deal with it. Noticing and overlooking or procrastinating might fuel the employee’s attitude to fester and the problem to grow bigger.

The thing that needs dire consideration during the initial phase is the adverse effects of rumors on the workforce. Before the office starts buzzing with gossip about the case, you need to intervene and convey that the issue is being addressed and meanwhile it’s time for everyone to refocus on work.

Professionalism-Need of The Hour!

Regardless of how dissatisfied the employee behaves, it’s quite imperative for you to behave in a professional manner. Yelling and swearing will only worsen things, if not vent out your agitation. Remember it’s your boss and your company you are representing, so getting personal would make you come across as the villain in the whole scene.

Being Compassionate Might Help

Being defensive and argumentative is quite natural in such a situation, but being compassionate and understanding is something that can create a win-win situation, obviously that’s what you want.

You simply can’t reach a consensus until your employee feels your concern through your attitude, way of speaking and the willingness to handle the issue pragmatically.

Avert getting confrontational and diffuse your out bursting emotions by using words/phrases that signify empathy.

Some typical ones include:

  • I’ll surely look into it
  • I understand your concern
  • I would’ve felt the same way
  • I’ll check into the issue and get back to you at the earliest

Don’t Let Him Take Control Either!

In typical cases, a worker can easily disarray the entire functioning of the organization, if given a chance. This ability drives them to capitalize on the situation and put forth an exaggerated behavior.

Either step forward yourself or assign a single person to look after the employee’s issues, so that the remaining workforce can work without any hindrances. This ultimately will enable the employee to realize that he’s not having any effect over the business and might stop working against it as well.

Maintain Privacy at All Costs

What happens once you confront the employee in front of his co-workers?

Ripple Effect happens. Witnessing an employee criticizing the organization openly, equal tendencies will be induced in other workers too and before you know, you’ll be dealing with majority of the department.

Plus, addressing the problem at hand in view of others might also embarrass the worker. If nothing, this will act as a fuel for his disgruntled fire.

Keep Everything Documented

You never know, but a lawsuit might incept from the most petty issues that seem small initially. The best policy in such a case is to keep everything in papers. Whatever the disgruntled worker has done should be documented, without giving it a second thought. This includes everything, right from warnings and discussions to termination.

Focus on Employee’s Performance and Acknowledge

The results achieved by the employee is what that matters. Yes, behavior is significant, but only if it impedes work efficacy. So, it’s performance that pays the bill.

He might be a poor employee, but there must be some tasks where he performed impeccably well, better than others even. Acknowledge these to make him realize that you have an objective viewpoint towards the situation. Obviously he’ll expect an appraisal, if not anything else!

Recovering such an employee is the biggest achievement you can have in this case. But, if it doesn’t work that way, then ensuring a smooth transition is your duty as well.

All you need is to keep the above tips in mind and everything will work out perfectly.

Author Bio: Anshuman Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the global job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics relating to employment across the gulf. He is presently working as a content writer for Naukrigulf.comReach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

Image credit: David Wall under C.C.2.0