Dealing with employee problems

Employers will inevitable be faced with challenge of dealing with difficult employee problems:

• Resolving disputes between employees
• Taking effective disciplinary action
• Managing poor performance
• Handling allegations of bullying or abusive behavior

We combine our management skills with our understanding of employment law to provide you with cost effective solutions to your people problems.

Don’t ignore the problem – people do not like dealing with difficult situations, often managers ignore the early signs that a problem exists. They hope that the problem will go away; the person will change their behaviour without their intervention.

Line managers have a difficult role to play in managing conflict. It is not surprising that they may shy away from dealing with difficult situations where they lack the skills and support to handle the situation effectively.

It is important to tackle negative behaviour quickly to prevent the problem from growing. Early intervention facilitates open and frank discussion about issues and can help to repair damaged relationships. It is much more difficult to deal with a problem after formal grievance or disciplinary procedures have been invoked. Small businesses in particular can be vulnerable to minor disputes getting out of hand because the line manager does not have the skill or support to deal effectively with the situation.

There is a lot to be gained from early resolution of problems before an employee with a grievance refers their case to an Employment Tribunal. When an employee seeks external advice the problem gets bigger; the third party seeks to formalise the dispute; additional claims are added to the list; the cost of a potential settlement is inflated.

There is no full proof way to prevent an employee making a claim to a Tribunal, but there are steps that can be taken to minimise these cases or to be in a better position to defend these claims.

Vincent has extensive experience of advising and coaching line managers in dealing with the difficult situations that they face on a day to day basis.