I’ve been working with one of my clients to look at how their employees feel they’re being treated by their managers. Unfortunately, in one case, it has resulted in a member of staff being signed off sick due to stress. They have been asked to come back to work, but they don’t want to return and have to work for the same manager. In this particular small business, there is no one else for whom they could work.
It is a sad story and it is one that can be avoided.
If you think that one of your employees is unhappy, it really is best to deal with it early. Find out as soon as you can what the problem is. Look at using regular appraisals or ‘job chats’ to keep in touch with your employees, so that no small issues are ignored. The small ones can be the ones that escalate into much larger, more complex issues, if they’re not dealt with while they’re still small.
If you find out that someone is unhappy about working under you, find someone else to deal with the situation. An employee with a problem is more likely to speak to someone more impartial than the person with whom they have the actual grievance.
For more advice on how to deal with grievances and discipline at work, have a look at this Acas guide.