Supervising Troubled Employees
Employees are not only regarded as organizations biggest asset but are also the primary builders of a profitable business. Businesses comprised of content employees superfluities naturally. Each employee would work for the betterment and profitability of the organization to gain or sustain a competitive advantage(Little). The employer should respect the diversity and uniqueness of each employee and encourage and motivate them to perform at normal level of efficiency. It is important to make them realize that they contribute to the success of the organization and they are a part of the team.
Employees have different needs like the ones proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper that included psychological, safety, belongingness, self-esteem and self-actualization needs (Kendra). Employees might get disturbed if any of these needs are unfulfilled and may lead to decreased productivity as the employee would be working far below his normal potential and capacity. Personal issues like illness, drug dependence, alcoholism, legal problems, financial issues etc. might lead to employees disturbing behavior.
The employee’s behavior would also affect his/her co-worker and sub-ordinates while decreased productivity might also lead to hindrances in meeting deadlines. It might also result in increase of illegal activities like theft in the organization, lower moral of the employee and more complaints in the workplace, loss of employee due to premature death, early retirement or disability and finally loss of business and damage to public image. Thus, a major cost for the employer and loss of productivity and business for the organization (Schein, 84).
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Assistance to Troubled Employee: Earlier, supervisors used to avoid dealing and confronting with employees non-job related problem or personal troubles. The supervisors and managers believed that they shouldn’t interfere with employee’s personal life. However, they soon discovered the costs associated with troubled employees were very high and they should be getting rid of these employees once identified. Furthermore, they recognized the fact that the cost of rehabilitation was lower than the cost of hiring a new employee.
While, there can be a substantial increase in employees productivity once treated well. Thus, organizations have managed ways and implemented programs to help troubled employees like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that were previously used for dealing employees with alcohol and drug problems and are now used to deal with such issues as domestic violence, financial problems, divorce, depression and taking care of employee’s dependents (Schabracq, 98). Ways of Handling Troubled Employees:
Supervisor’s job is to guide people to perform their best work in the organization. However, they cannot completely diagnose them, but can work out ways of managing them to an extent. Following are steps simple ways that need to be taken by the supervisor to identify, confront and deal with troubled employees and their personal or work life issues: 1. Performance Review: To being with, the supervisor should start assessing employee’s performance and documenting it while also observing changes in behavior and job performance.
This can range from not meeting specific targets or deadlines to issues within the workplace like fights, accidents and mishaps. The supervisor must carefully listen if the employee talks about any problem that might be bothering him/her. The supervisor should document or quantify his/her concerns if possible. 2. Utilize Resources: Supervisor should make use of the resources available to identify how the problem can be managed or dealt with by consulting the human resource department or his/her boss or manager or Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if the organization has any.
The EAPS have been discussed in detail further in this document. 3. Referral to counseling or assistance: Once the problem has been identified, the supervisor must support his/her sub-ordinate in all manners possible. The supervisor should not ignore the problem or consider it minor or not that big of a deal but should deal with it on immediate basis. The supervisor must also be prepared for excuses and rude behavior of the employee when the employee is unwilling to accept any assistance. The employee might also blame the supervisor for the problem.
The supervisor should have prior knowledge about the types of assistances available and recommend employee to make use of them. By ensuring confidentiality and that their job would not be at risk if they accept assistance, the employee can be convinced to accept the assistance by experts or counselors. If they still refuse to accept any assistance, they should be told about organizations policy and procedures regarding appropriate actions and that this might just be the only way to continue employment. 4.
Discussion of Consequences: The supervisor should discuss and emphasize on the need for performance improvement, the success of assistance programs, support from the workplace/organization and the supervisor etc. The employees should also be told that sub-standard performance wouldn’t be acceptable in any way. 5. Aiding the recovery: The supervisor must ensure that the assistance or counseling schedule does not clash with the work schedule. Also, the supervisor should give equal responsibility of work to the employee under counseling and that there shouldn’t be any discrimination in the workplace.
6. Evaluating the recovery: The underlying objective of the assistance or counseling plan should be that employee works at his normal potential level of efficiency or productivity and is able to perform his/her responsibilities to the best of his/her abilities. Thus, evaluation would be done on the abovementioned basis. It’s the supervisor’s job to analyze the extent of rehabilitation on the basis of job performance and whether the employee is satisfied with his/her personal and work life (Robbins, 64).
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) The trend of Employee Assistance Program was introduced in organizations during the 1980s and quickly became an integral part of workforce development and a system to tackle challenges in employee’s life that robustly affect employees productivity by providing clinical and non-clinical solutions to employees problems. EAP’s have helped organizations support employees during both personal life issues as well as workplace crisis.
Work/family programs were used to generally help working mothers meet childcare demands while EAPS were adapted to improve performance of underperforming employees. These systems co-exist now while are not always effective. Plaggemars’ paper on applying ‘Critical Incident Stress debriefing’ (CISD) suggests that employees reactions to severe and traumatic events such as co-workers suicide, homicide and departmental restructuring needs to facilitated by helping them recover from such events in order to perform their job at normal efficiency level.
They also provide services for downsized employees whereby they are enabled to coupe up with their feelings after being downsized while also managing and maintain the corporate culture after downsizing. These events can also lead to workplace violence. EAPS have been applied as tools for variety of organizational development mechanisms like team building, coaching and consultation techniques to further enhance corporate functioning, productivity, work satisfaction and professional development. Conclusion
Employees are the biggest asset for any organization while troubled employees are a burden for the organization that not only lead to loss of productivity but also affect the corporate culture of the organization. They cannot be corrected through normal counseling or disciplinary measures and are diagnosed as troubled employees. The six-step way of handling troubled employees is simple and effective which includes performance review, utilizing resources, referral to counseling, discussion of consequence, aiding the recovery and evaluating the recovery.
A supervisor must take steps in identifying and confronting the troubled employees to improve employee’s individual performance and to develop professional corporate culture. Employee Assistance Program (EAPS) are used to facilitate and support employee’s personal life issues while also coping up for workplace crisis. These systems are now used for variety of organization development purposes like teambuilding, coaching, training, managing downsized employees and managing corporate culture after downsizing of employees etc.
Work Cited Page:
Kendra , Cherry. Hierarchy of Needs. n. d. May 8,2010< http://psychology. about. com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/hierarchyneeds. htm> Little, Jonathan. The importance of employees. n. d. May 8,2010 <http://www. hrireland. ie/pdf/Articles%20page%2012%20and%2013. pdf> Robbins, S P. , Organizational Behavior, Prentice Hall,2000. Schabracq, M. J. , Changing Organizational Culture: The Change Agent’s Guidebook,Wiley,2000. Schein, E. H. , Organizational Culture and Leadership (The Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series),Jossey-Bas,2004.