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Dealing With Most Common Problems in the Workplace

Any workplace is a complicated system that can thrive or lag because of tons of different factors. The reason why no organization can do without at least a couple of Human Resource (HR) specialists is that someone needs to guide the management and employees throughout the intricacies of a workplace environment. But any worker must have at least some understanding of what main workplace problems are and how to deal with them. Here are a few.

Misleading Job Description

One of the most unfortunate challenges that new employees face is that their job doesn’t really match the job description. Imagine a job seeker who has spent a lot of time perfecting their LinkedIn profile, asked a career expert to “write my resume on Skillhub,” and had a few job interviews. It would be frustrating to then realize that their job isn’t what they expected, right?

But this happens more often than you might think. Poorly written job descriptions mislead future employees and leave them confused during their first week of work. If you’ve found yourself in such a situation, you have two options. Either talk to your manager and the HR department to receive the training you need or quit and cite the misleading job description as the reason.

Poor Communication

The lack of well-functioning communication between employees and managers traditionally tops the list of the most common workplace problems. Improving communication takes much time and effort on the company’s part (as well as individual managers), but it’s possible.

First, all managers should receive comprehensive workplace communication training that would teach them different channels and strategies of communication as well as the art of giving and receiving feedback. The very least that each team leader should implement is weekly team meetings and one-on-one meetings with every team member. A dropbox for anonymous suggestions helps too.

Low Employee Morale

Low employee morale refers to a lack of employee motivation and engagement. The reason why it’s such a big deal is that low morale has a negative effect on employee performance, contributes to burnout, and increases turnover. So it’s in the company’s best interest that managers do everything in their power to keep their workers satisfied and motivated.

To achieve this, the number one thing that managers need to do is make sure that their employees feel heard. Show that you’re genuinely interested in their feedback and are willing to change if necessary. Also, use one-on-one meetings with employees to show them that the company appreciates the work they do and discuss the opportunities for further professional growth.

No Work-Life Balance

If employees have no time for their families, hobbies, and meaningful rest, they are headed for burnout. As a result, their productivity suffers, and they’re likely to quit the company. To promote employee wellbeing and retention, consider these strategies to protect workers’ work-life balance:

  • offer flexible hours;
  • offer the option to work remotely;
  • revise performance assessment to put productivity above hours;
  • make an hour-long lunch break mandatory;
  • review workload norms every month;
  • limit the amount of overtime an employee can take.

Most importantly, communicate to your employees that you respect their work-life balance. Don’t send them business emails on weekends or call after hours. Don’t make a big deal of them coming in an hour late or leaving an hour early (as long as they warn you in advance). Let them see that you value their life outside of work and don’t expect them to put work above all.

Inadequate Company Policies

Compensation isn’t everything. Sure, employees care about their income. But they also want their employers to respect their needs as human beings. That’s why weird or overly strict company policies are among the main reasons for employee turnover. After all, why shouldn’t an employee look for another employer if you don’t offer paid maternity leave? It’s barbaric.

If you have any say in this, make sure that the employee benefits at your company are adequate. Paid parental leave, on-site child care, comprehensive health insurance, paid holidays and medical leave are only some of the things that an employee should be able to expect.

In turn, unwarranted dress code rules (look up Abercrombie & Fitch to see how far a company can go) and weird contracts that border on violating human rights never do any good. You’ll keep spending money on hiring and training new employees, and your productivity is doomed to suffer.

Performance Issues

Finally, poor performance on employees’ part is a serious problem that undermines companies’ success. If it’s only a few people who fail to meet the standards, it makes sense to address their performance on a case-by-case basis. One-on-one meetings with the management and HR can help find the root of the problem, develop a plan, and offer the training the employee needs.

But if a significant portion of the company’s employees underperforms, it’s typically the company’s fault. Perhaps, performance goals are unrealistic. Or the company’s policies affect employee motivation and engagement. Or money can be the reason. In any case, anonymous employee surveys can help determine the cause of underperformance and find solutions.

In Sum

Communication issues, low employee morale, and poor performance are some of the most common problems in the workplace. The least companies should do to address them is conduct a thorough investigation to find the root causes. Oftentimes, company policies are to blame, especially when they rob employees of their work-life balance or fail to motivate them.

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