As a manager it is vital that you are able to correctly address any issues, problems or concerns raised by your staff. Inefficient management of staff concerns will have a negative impact on your employee’s attitude in the workplace and could result in a number of official grievances being raised.
Below are some tips on how to efficiently deal with employee concerns:
Give the employee your full attention
While the employee is expressing their concerns be sure to give them your undivided attention. Do not answer your phone, send a text message or appear distracted. They have found the courage to confide in you therefore it is crucial that you show them utmost respect during the conversation.
Do not interrupt them whilst they are speaking as this is their opportunity to fully express themselves. Only when absolutely necessary should you interject. Say something like: ‘Let me stop you for a moment there’ and reiterate what it is you have heard so far. This will help you both to steer the conversation in the right direction and avoid any tangents.
Ask them how they would like you to help
As the conversation progresses ensure that you will be able to reach some sort of tangible conclusion. If you are unsure of the intention of the discussion, ask the employee how they would like you to help them. If it is clear, clarify the steps that you will take from here as a result of the discussion.
Show understanding but remain neutral
Being biased can be hazardous particularly when it comes to discussions regarding other employees. Do not side with the individual but instead show them that you understand and will help them to deal with the situation as you see fit.
Make it clear that the conversation held has been acknowledged with utmost confidentiality. Employees must feel that they are able to express themselves without the discussion reaching other ears.
Explain the next steps
Ask the individual for their permission to involve others (if the issue is regarding another employee) or give the employee options with regards to what steps can be taken from here. As the discussion comes to a close, clarify what action will be taken from here. For example you may wish to arrange a follow up meeting to establish what progress has been made.