Handling The 5 Most Typical Employee Relation Issues

When you are the owner of a business or an HR manager you hopefully understand that keeping employee relations on an even keel is vital to the bottom line of your organization. This being the case, you need to be aware of the most common types of employee issues that can rear their ugly heads at any time of the year, not just the Holidays or bleak late winter or during the summer blahs. If not nipped in the bud, some of these things can grow into much larger controversies that affect dozens of people inside and outside the company.

As the owner of a business you certainly want smooth sailing, and work hard to provide a secure and professional workplace that will encourage the free exchange of ideas and concerns. Employees need support — some more than others; you’ve got to plan ahead to make sure every person on the payroll is being productive and feeling satisfied.

Whether your business is large or small there are four basic employee issues that pop up over and over again. They are not the only ones you’ll have to deal with, but since they’re the most common you should be familiar with their genesis and how to deal with them early enough to prevent disgruntled employees from running your company and themselves down into the ground:

On time and on the clock

Does your staff use a timeclock? How do they feel about it? In some companies employees come to resent punching in and out each day. They grow inattentive. Sometimes they even punch in and out for each other, thus defeating the whole purpose of a timeclock system.

Workforce Management software for employees has been shown to be effective in the areas of attendance and timekeeping. Let them keep track of their own hours and attendance using a company app on their mobile devices and/or laptops and desk computers. Show them you trust their professionalism and they are unlikely to take advantage of that trust just to log a few extra dollars.

Conflict resolution

Everyone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed occasionally. Temper tantrums or simple disagreements about procedure and policy can eat up company time that is much better spent staying on task and completing projects. Competent conflict management saves time and money, and keeps supervisors in the driver’s seat.

Always having a third disinterested party available to listen to complaints is the key to keeping conflicts under control. Disagreements can’t be banished and shouldn’t be punished; they should be heard out by someone trusted by both sides, with the understanding that their decision will be binding on the matter.

Hours and wages

When an employee has a problem about their pay or hours the smart business owner will jump on it immediately to get it resolved. This is because there is nothing more upsetting in the long run than an unresolved employee money issue. If they feel they are being put off, their resentment grows exponentially. A simple payroll glitch can turn into a screaming match if it is left to simmer too long.

The wise business owner will automatically set aside some time each week to deal with pay and hour issues. Because they’re going to happen, even in the best run business.

Workplace safety

Accidents happen in the carpeted office as well as out on the factory floor. Federal and state regulations and oversight have taken a lot of the guesswork out of everyday workplace hazards, but there are still plenty of site-specific booby traps that business owners need to watch for.

Owners and managers need to take the time to listen to their employees about safety concerns. They also need to keep their eyes and ears open at all times to look for potential accident hot spots and activities. Employee downtime can cost even a small company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.