Whether in businesses big or small, the workplace is an ever shifting, ever changing entity, which sometimes makes it difficult for managers resolve every issue in a timely and satisfactory matter. Below are 5 common workplace issues that managers should keep an eye on in the office.
1) Management of blatant and hidden conflict
Some conflict is loud and attention-grabbing while other conflict is more localised and may not even be signalled to those in a managerial position. Unresolved conflict can quickly become poisonous in the workplace, leading to performance problems, trust issues with the employer and, if an argument between two colleagues, a potentially hazardous breakdown in communication. It is important for those in a managerial position to take time to reflect on the ‘tone’ of the office if the conflict is not apparent and deal with those, as well as more apparent, conflicts in a timely manner,
People can become unnecessarily stressed over time if they have to deal with small things that they believe are beyond their control. For instance, if an employee has to catch the 5:30pm bus home every day after work and the rush hour traffic doubles their journey home, they may become stressed by these external factors; leaving half an hour earlier would help them avoid this stress. Giving employees the opportunity to control their own time (within reason) ensures that they’re working at the highest capacity, as the day is optimised to their liking. These small changes can make big differences in motivation and loyalty.Workload
Guidelines from the health watchdog, NICE, urge employers to make sure their staff work reasonable hours and take regular breaks. The estimates, for England, Scotland and Wales, suggest about 27 million working days were lost to illnesses, including stress and back pain, in 2012-13. High workloads can be particularly stressful, especially in large offices where work may be coming from different sources. Employees aren’t always forthcoming about their difficulty in handling high workloads, so it’s important to ask people what they are working on before giving them a new task to complete. Some people can manage high workloads better than others, so knowing the individual differences between employees is essential.Communication
Communication concerning new developments, ongoing projects, feedback and policy is incredibly important. Vague language is the enemy of productivity and, where possible, managers should always invite employee questions. Clarity of emails and digital communication is just as important as verbal communication and body language in the workplace, so it’s best to approach each important communication opportunity as clearly and as plainly as possible.Career Development
5) Career Development
Employee development can be easily forgotten amongst all the high priority tasks in an average work day. Without career development practices in hand, employees can feel like they’re ‘stagnating’, whereas training opportunities and the promise of a more prosperous career after development can lead to more engaged, driven and knowledgeable staff. Where some can, unfortunately, neglect career development, others are quite open to it, provided employees can still keep up the work. An online degree in management or accounting is an ideal way to improve your career without taking time away from work and other commitments. View our courses here and ask your line manager about potential funding opportunities for career development.