This happens too often - an employee suddenly starts acting weird and showing signs of unhappiness. I am going to put in my ways of dealing with this and I would like other members to put in theirs.

This is usually the first sign of an employee going astray from his/her responsibilities and eventually shifting to another organization in hope that it'll help change the way he/she is feeling.

The main reasons I feel this happens:
1) Over worked employees.
2) Under-appreciated employees
3) Lack of challenges.
4) Less interaction/feedback from superiors.

While we can't do much about the work load - if there's a lot of work there's a lot work - and we can't artificially create challenges for the employee - most will be too absurd and will seem phony. We can however change the way we interact with our employees.

While it is crucial to NOT become familiar with your employees it's very important to have a dialogue with them if you want to be a good leader. A dialogue will help create a sense of belonging and purpose and that is the best approach in keeping an employee happy.

Here are a few things I do to help ease the unhappiness:

* Speak to the employee directly and ask them what is wrong - why he/she seems distant and bothered. They will most probably say there's nothing wrong - if they do come out with an issue - don't victimize them for speaking up - don't promise them action - but rather discuss why the problem is occurring - and if it's something that you can do nothing about - try to elaborate on why the situation exists.

* The next day - start up another casual interaction with the employee - direct the conversation towards the employee's past experiences - in other jobs or in other positions. They will most likely describe problems they had - don't discuss the problems but rather encourage them to elaborate on how they landed up in your organization.

* Cease conversation on such topics and talk mainly about work and problems that need to be solved. This will create the sense of challenge and the focus will be shifted to the employee's responsibilities in the organization.

This is how I deal with such employees - and it has worked fairly well in almost all cases.

Do put in your opinions and ideas about how to deal with such situations.

From India, Gurgaon
And many times employees and you, all know what is the situation and at the present circumstances not much change can be expected in the near future.
If there is no challenge in the work or no work available for many employees - In such cases if management (CEO or some director who is acting as centre head) could hold a meeting with all employees and expresses Company's inability to provide challenging work and asks employees to be more patient and give some more time to the situation some times employees are very supportive and hold back all their dissatisfaction. You can expect this support ranging between 2 - 6 months.
This is what I have seen , many times employees have this need to directly hear from the horses mouth, HR can not give the required pill to the anxiety employees face. An act of public address by one of the senior most directors goes a long way in holding back employees for some more time, before they think of a job change.

From Korea, Seoul

Excellent point Geeta. I don't understand why doing such a simple thing as interacting positively with employees outside work discussion is such a hurdle for many managers.
This should be one of the primary view to spread through CiteHR - "interact with your employees". There are of course many other things that need to be considered - on an employee to employee basis. Some are of the belief that familiarizing too much with your employees can back fire very badly.
Any other view points?

From India, Gurgaon

Hmmmmmm...."interact with your employees", tatz gud point. But, wat if a BOSS shows the same attitude? when every thing goes good...Putting in simple way, How to manage the Manager?
From India, Mangaluru

Have you ever noticed one thing ?

If a brain storming is expected on a relevant issue,there won't be many to contribute....most of the times the threads I started went unnoticed. So the conclusion is may be it is too difficult to attempt or it does not tickle interest of people enough to participate.

Now coming to - getting closer to employees; I consider it is more of a personal effectiveness of people in handling colleagues. Some times it comes with maturity and sometimes people have to learn it.

1 - It is very common that certain people fail to draw limits between achieving common interests and taking advantage of professional closeness.

2 - One should always try to achieve win-win or make it clear to others that, not at least prepared for a lose-win with any one on the name of professional relationship.

I try to make it clear to everone that I am a friend as long as you are not expecting me to do any undue favours. Some times still I may be goofed but at least 90% times I can not be ,though exceptions will be always there.:-P

So it all depends on how people manage relations in professional life.

Communicating professionally means to me, letting clearly people know what I can do for them without making them feel obliged, telling clearly what is my expectation from them as employees of this I never felt any thing ever backfired and also making it clear that if anything within limits we could do for each other then let us make each other smile with our small little actions...:icon1:

From Korea, Seoul

Hi Geeta, Juz for an argument. Wat if, an individual is stubborn and not listening wat u speak?? wat shud we do then?
From India, Mangaluru
I would like to add one good example here...
Once a bunch of new recruits joined and the appointment letter read that accommodation will be provided in the first week of joining the company.
We meant only acco no food. Onle one guy used to come almost everyday to say hello to me and had become friendly. After a week when they were given food bill all of them were shocked,because they thought food is included in acco.
Though they paid the bill after 2 weeks or so he told me this as a story,not as complaint ,what was their expectation from company.
I informed our CEO about this,and he told company will reimburse the food bill and next time onwards the appointment letter read (Company will provide acco only in the first week). Added to this I used to write very clearly in the mail that food charges have to be borne by the new joinee.
So this is the benefit of being close professionally with key people in the company.
Does that make sense ?

From Korea, Seoul
Chum... what a name ?:-P
I told different type of people are there, either you know how to manage them or find alternatives to get the work done.
And some times no result is achieved but at least you know the pulse of the organization, it is important to know what is the belief,feelings and thoughts making rounds...
You don't discuss always a problem to get an immediate solution but yes, someone must raise the issue and someone must pay attention to solve it...or know that there is a problem (For corporates ignorance is not bliss)

From Korea, Seoul
Communication... communication and communication is the only key. Most of the relations improve or decay due to lack of communication, which sometimes is the result of lack of time with managers.
Every employee (apart from being part of the organizations) faces lots of personal problems, social, family, financial, and so on so forth. Indeed one comes to job merely to solve these problems. What I found is that if a manager / organization can discuss the personal problems of the employee and guide him with a solution..employee can focus more on work! Many big organization now do provide concierge facilities like Financial Consultation, and other personal services.

From India, Delhi

Hi Geeta,
"Chum... what a name ?:-P " Tatz my nick name...y?? is thr any problem??
K cumin to the dicussion....So, we can only manage such ppl, rgt......K, wat is ur view on changin the attitude of ppl??

From India, Mangaluru

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