As a small business owner, you can expect to encounter every workplace issue in the book. However, you might be surprised to learn that many of the most typical problems are relatively easy to tackle. Learn about seven of the most common workplace concerns and learn how to resolve them effectively.
1. Low Motivation
Every member of your staff is capable of feeling motivated to do a great job at work. But it's important to remember that motivation is a two-way street. If you haven't tapped into what drives your employees, they may struggle with motivation and deliver average results.
To encourage your team to do their best, you have to move past any communication problems and find out what makes them tick. Although you can ask them directly, distributing an anonymous survey tends to be a better way to get honest answers. Create a list of factors, such as better pay and acknowledgment for great work, and ask your staff to put them in order of what motivates them. Then work with your management team to develop a reward system that drives your team to work better and harder.
2. Poor Work-Life Balance
When you run a small business, your work tends to blend with your home life. Just because you think about work constantly doesn't mean your employees should work when they should be enjoying well-deserved time off. Requiring employees to be available at all hours of the day and rarely granting time off can quickly wear your staff out and cause their work to suffer. Instead, your employees need a healthy balance between work and home life to deliver their best performance at both.
To establish a better work-life balance, start by implementing a company culture that celebrates doing well at home and at work. Require your employees to respond to emails and texts during work hours only, and allow them to live their best lives and participate in family events to the fullest.
3. Schedule Inflexibility
No matter the size of your staff, you need to know that your employees are committed to putting in the hours and doing their jobs to the best of their ability. While you may need your employees to cover specific shifts or do tasks at certain times, it's important to consider whether you need to be so strict with scheduling requirements. Forcing your staff to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no leeway can inspire high-stress levels, especially when employees could do better work with more flexibility.
To add more flexibility to your employees' workday, consider letting your staff set their own schedules or even work remotely. Although you'll still need your staff to work a certain number of hours each day or complete specific projects by deadlines, you can easily give them the flexibility they need to excel at their jobs.
4. Insufficient Training
As your business grows, it's natural to ask employees to take on new responsibilities and complete challenging tasks so you can take advantage of every opportunity that comes your company's way. If you don't teach your employees new skills or walk them through the appropriate process, however, you can't expect them to excel in their new roles. Providing your staff with insufficient training creates a quick path to frustration and burnout.
Rather than requiring your employees to figure out their jobs independently, take steps to train them for their roles. While you can ask each employee to tell you what they're struggling with, it's often more effective to bring in HR consulting services or a development trainer to do the job right. These professionals can assess the skills your employees lack and devise development programs and training sessions to get them on track for success.
5. Lack of Equipment or Technology
A small business owner's job is rarely easy, especially when it comes to deciding how to allocate profit and where to invest in your company. While hiring new employees might be higher on your list than purchasing new equipment, you're likely to feel the effects of outdated systems sooner rather than later. When your employees' work starts to suffer due to slow systems or malfunctioning equipment, their motivation and performance can take a nosedive.
Instead of forcing your staff to engage in constant problem-solving to get around the lack of current technology, make a plan to invest in new systems and equipment. Talk with your employees about what they need to do their jobs better, research the newest technology, and create a budget for new purchases.
6. No Upward Mobility
As much as your staff enjoys working for your company, they probably won't want to have the same job for the rest of their careers. A lack of promotion possibilities can cause your staff to get discouraged and demoralized, which can eventually reflect in their work.
To give your employees the mobility they deserve, create a strategy for granting raises. Decide whether time on the job, performance metrics, or other major accomplishments should warrant a promotion; and determine whether you'll give raises, new titles, or a combination of the two. Then share your strategy with your staff so they understand how to get the promotions they want.
7. Staff Conflicts and Harassment
When you bring on new employees, you always hope they'll fit right in. However, when you hire a diverse workforce, your employees will have a range of backgrounds and perspectives that may have minimal common ground. These differences can easily boil over into interpersonal conflict, which can lead to bullying and harassment in the workplace.
Rather than risking your employees' mental health or forcing them to feel unsafe in the workplace, consider adopting an employee assistance program (EAP). This type of intervention program gives employees access to the support they need to manage interpersonal issues like interpersonal challenges at work and at home. Many insurance providers offer EAPs at no cost, so you can help your employees improve and succeed with no added expense.
Whether your staff is dealing with low motivation, internal conflicts, or a lack of upward mobility, you can help them face their challenges. Keep these tips handy to address workplace concerns quickly and avoid letting them grow into serious, long-term issues.