Tips for managers in dealing with troubled employees
When dealing with troubled employees, supervisors should provide reliable information regarding resources available; take steps most likely to achieve the best possible results; and offer management for issues that may be affecting the employee’s job performance. A few tips to consider include:
- Assure the employee of privacy. Since the employee has chosen to confide in you, respect his/her confidence except in matters of personal safety.
- Listen. This will take most of your time so don’t assume you are doing nothing when you are genuinely listening.
- Be careful not to make assumptions or judgments.
- Avoid giving advice other than that regarding resources and job performance.
- Encourage the employee to seek additional help. Remind them that as supervisor you are willing to listen but that you may not be qualified to offer assistance for personal problems.
- Be aware of resources, both within the University and outside, that the employee may access for assistance. Do not hesitate to offer to contact the resource on the employee’s behalf in order to effect a smooth referral.
- Ask yourself, “Is the personal concern affecting job performance?” If so, remind the employee that seeking help does not indicate weakness but is likely to improve their ability to continue to perform their job responsibilities.
- Schedule a follow-up if possible as a means of supporting the employee in making changes.
- Make use of available resources to assist you in helping other employees.