Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to Perk Up the Disgruntled Employee

You wonder what happened. A couple of years ago, you hired a key employee who seemed like the whiz kid that would be a major asset to your team. At the onset, it worked. But, as time wore on, the shine began to tarnish. The "whiz" became a "was." It's easy enough to say the employee should go home and you'll find another rising star. But, many managers agree that you would be mistaken. Training new employees is costly, both in time and money. Moreover, if you originally spotted talent, chances are that the talent is still there. The question is what happened along the way and how can you improve the situation.

In the hustle of daily business, managers often tend to focus on the most pressing issues and ignore the secondary or tertiary ones. However, our employees are among the basic raw materials that allow the business to operate. When you consider the fact that the majority of an individual's waking hours are spent at work, it is vital to make sure that the person enjoys his work. There is a direct correlation between performance and employee satisfaction.

Perhaps the whiz kid just became part of the background. You assumed that outstanding performance would just come naturally to such a person. But, what about providing positive feedback? Has a job well done been rewarded, either monetarily or through other recognition? Have you taken the time to sit and chat every now and then? Find out what is bothering that employee. You may discover that a breakdown in the managerial chain of command has affected this person and left a feeling of disgruntlement. In that case, track down the true source of the problem and you might correct the situation. A simple discussion may reveal that your employee needs additional skills in order to perform the task at hand. In that case, attending a course or a change of task will rectify the problem.

Managing an effective staff requires time and skill. It's not enough to give assignments and sign paycheques. Remember that a loyal staff is vital to your company's success. Invest the time and energy to develop and protect that loyalty.

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