We've all heard the saying, "It's not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it that counts." This saying is vital when discussing employee issues. As business coaches, we often find that business owners either let employee issues slide or end up handling them in a manner that doesn't create the most productive environment. The reasons for mishandling employee issues vary such as:
- Wanting to be seen as a good boss
- Not wanting to lose a key employee
- Having a short temper
- Being tired of telling someone how to do the same thing multiple times
- Waiting too long to address an issue
- Avoiding conflict
- Not being confident in how to approach an issue
The root cause though is that most people simply don't have a well thought out format to use when dealing with employee issues. Yes, we're talking about having a system in place, one that allows you or your managers to effectively have tough conversations with your staff. Join us throughout April as we focus on the elements of creating a system for managers to address employee issues.
So where do you get started with an employee issue? The first step is always about preparation and starts with creating an Employee Notification form, which will be used to address the issue at a meeting with your employee. This form serves several purposes including: allows you to be clear and direct, allows you to work through any emotions before discussing the issue with the employee, and can be used as documentation in the employee file. At this stage, elements of your form should include:
- The Result: what needs to happen to make this meeting a success
- The Issue: specific bullet points on what the issue is
- Examples: specific examples of when the issue has occurred recently
- Why: the impact this issue is having on the business
- Acknowledgement: a pausing point in the conversation to get the employee's agreement that this is an issue that needs to be solved. If the employee doesn't agree, your issue is with their buy-in, not with the issue at hand.
Later this month we'll add to the elements needed to create a system that addresses an employee issue, but to start the meeting, you need to first work through this section. As you create your Employee Notification Form, be intentional about the language you use. Are you setting the tone that will reach your result statement? Are you adding too much emotion or even making the conversation too light hearted? Focusing on the right language in the agenda will help to ensure that you set the right tone in the meeting.
PS: If you're participating in the 2015 Systems Challenge this is a great system to implement within your business!