The best kind of management will focus on providing employees with a chance to grow and develop. The people you hire should feel cared for and needed as opposed to managing them with fear of punishment and job loss when they don’t hit targets.
And when such employees fail to perform to full potential, they need to be provided with an opportunity to redeem themselves. They are human after all, and mistakes abound. But what happens when they fail to prove themselves when they are given a chance to?
For anyone who has been in management long enough, there are always those employees that keep repeating the same mistakes, and once called in to explain themselves, there’s always the “I’m sorry” response.
A good manager will still not rush to reprimand the employee, but some tough love is crucial to remind them that there are consequences to their actions.
Whether it’s that person who is always late for a meeting or that guy who always has such good ideas that he thinks he can get away with disrespecting his co-workers and when asked about it always pulls the sorry card, it’s pretty obvious the behavior cannot be encouraged.
Simply saying “sorry” doesn’t make things right. People need to own up to their actions and find a plan to make sure it doesn’t persist. What matters is that the employee shows a change in behavior. A good manager puts in place a good support system and puts their employees on the right path before serious consequences happen.
So, how should the employer approach such matters?
1. Make them aware of their behavior
It is never a good idea to shame employees in public or in front of their co-workers. Instead call them in for a meeting and point out that you have a noticed a pattern of behavior that is less than appropriate. Also make them aware of their sorry pattern and ask them how they are willing to solve the issue.
There could be a health issue or a family situation going on. This is why it is always in order to approach such matters from an empathetic point. Show compassion in such a case and involve HR to provide the employee with all the resources they need to overcome their challenges.
If the problem is coming form the employee’s own negligence, it is still not a reason to be harsh. Start from a position of empathy and work your way up to tough love.
Let them know that the behavior is not fair to the business, or the other employees, and will not be tolerated and that it needs to stop. Otherwise the employee will be left with no choice but to face the consequences.
2. Support the employee to find a solution
Some problems may be just habitual such as coming to work late and missing meetings. Solving them shouldn’t be too complicated. Sit down with the employee and go back on the scenario to find the cause of the issue. More often than not, the answer lies in changing and improving on the timing by getting rid of unnecessary morning tasks or waking up earlier to avoid traffic.
Take for example someone who is regularly getting to the office late. You can begin by finding out their morning activities such as getting kids ready for work, dealing with traffic or the time they wake up. Most of these can be solved by just waking up earlier than usual.
On the other hand, if someone keeps missing their deadlines, there is a chance that they are simply over-promising on the results or are not good on time management. You can get them to try and set more achievable goals and how to better manage their work and time.
As a manager, when you show workers that you are willing to help them deal with their problems, this is usually enough motivation to improve.
3. Analyze and understand the project management process
Sometimes the problem is not very much with the workers but with the set-up of the organization. Is there enough free flowing communication? Is the employee’s behavior a reflection of what is actually happening in the department? All this needs to be carefully looked into.
A good manager is aware of the possibility of issues within his own organization and that worker performance could be indicative of this. By solving the underlying problem, you can solve it from the roots for a better-performing workforce.
Sometimes the solution could be as simple as getting a coffee machine to prevent workers from rushing to the nearest coffee shop every so often.
4. Look at your own behavior
Do you yourself as the leader play the sorry card? Perhaps this is where your employees learnt it from. Before you commit to solve certain behaviors from the workforce, ensure that you are not under the same pattern.
For example, you cannot try to convince your employees to get to work early if you are getting late. It makes no sense. Neither can you reprimand them on a behavior that you do yourself. What we are saying here is, be a leader who leads by example.
As a leader, if you work hard and show empathy when your employees make mistakes, you will encourage this behavior in them as well. Bullies beget bullies.
There’s another big problem that can easily affect the employees’ performance—financial strain.
Money, or the lack of it can be a cause for a lot of stress in all of us. It can be the reason for anxiety which can then be brought to the work place. Employees experiencing financial challenges will show a drop in their performance.
And to prove just how much money is a significant factor in our daily lives, research has shown that up to 72% of people think about their financial situation and get stressed during some time in their day. 22% of people admit to being at some point highly stressed about the money issue.
When the workforce is not satisfied with their pay, there is high absenteeism, low morale, low levels of production and high employee turnover, not good for business.
To deal with such a situation, a good manager needs to ensure that there are measures in place to help keep the employees free of anxiety and stress caused by money.
The financial situation of the employees is yours to deal with
Compared to earlier times, research continues to show that employees are continually facing more money issues, are in more debt and they are unable to save enough. Many employees continue to be worried about whether they will be able to afford their lives after retirement.
And stress affects the well-being of both employees and the business in more ways than one. Not only will they show less productivity, less performance and more absenteeism, they are also more likely to suffer from diseases due to lower immunity. This means more days off work.
Lets recap. This is what you can expect as a manager from a workforce that is experiencing high financial stress:
- Absenteeism - there will be more sick leaves and just more days off work.
- Presenteeism - this situation is quite interesting. While an employee may be physically present at work, their mind is focused on their problems, which means that they will not be able to function properly.
- Conflicts at work - workers will often be easily agitated which can cause more conflict issues between them and the other employees.
- Health issues - stress reduces the body’s immune system which further causes more strain on the employee through higher hospital bills.
How to provide the employees with financial wellness
Businesses should provide their workers with programs that provide information on how to be financially stable. Tools that help the workers to become more stable by showing them how to save and invest their money will help take off the stress that is brought about by financial uncertainty.
This will have long lasting effects to the business. The employees will feel part of a family and their motivation and loyalty will rise.
Let’s consider some of these financial benefits that the business can offer.
- Life Insurance - your employees will feel better knowing that there will be a lump sum offered to their beneficiaries in case of their death. It provides them with peace of mind and can help attract talented job seekers to the organization.
- End of service benefits - these are given to the employees in the event they leave the organization, whether during contract termination or if the employee so choses to leave.
- Disability benefits - accidents are unforeseeable and can really put financial strain on someone. When the company offers disability benefits, the employee can rest easy knowing that they are covered in case of any injury or accident that could put them off work for some time.
- Retirement benefits - these are different from end of service benefits. They mostly involve savings and are a great way to ensure employee loyalty.
- Financial education programs -these teach employees how to invest their earnings and how to better save for the future.