4 Ways to Talk to an Upset Employee

By Alicia Geigel on January 9, 2020

In a perfect world, we all love our jobs, have the best co-workers, admire our bosses, and are fulfilled with the work of our job. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world full of people without flaws and this reality can make it difficult to go to work and be satisfied with your job.

There are a million reasons why an employee may be concerned, disappointed, or upset with their current job situation. Perhaps the pay isn’t adequate to suit their lifestyle, the reward of their hard work isn’t fulfilling enough, or the work atmosphere doesn’t fit well with the person and their attitude. Making employees happy at work isn’t always easy, as there is a lot to manage in the office and on an individual level. As an employer, it can be difficult to try and pick up on the feelings of your employees, because a lot of the time, they are great at hiding them.

There is nothing worse as an employer than having to see a cherished employee leave for a reason that could have been helped/prevented. Are you an employee looking to expand your communication skills and help your employees through their job concerns/problems? Here are four great tips to help you get started!

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1. Start with Changing the Way They Mentally Approach Work: Perhaps one of your employee’s problems or concerns is that they aren’t doing well enough or that the office isn’t an environment they can thrive in, that is all situational and can be changed! Have you ever heard of or considered the notion of positive thinking and the power it holds? Positive thinking and a positive mindset can influence and change the trajectory of your life, literally just by thinking. Think of it like this: if you are anxious about a test and tell yourself you are going to fail, what motivation would you have to not fail this test since you already convinced yourself you would fail?

The same mindset and belief system applies to life, and particularly your job. If your employees go to work every day and tell themselves they are going to have a miserable day, chances are they probably will! Instead, encourage your employees to change how they mentally approach the workday.

Like I said, positive thinking is a way of life, and Remez Sasson of SuccessConsciousness.com states that “with a positive attitude we experience pleasant and happy feelings. This brings brightness to the eyes, more energy, and happiness. Our whole being broadcasts goodwill, happiness, and success. Even our health is affected in a beneficial way. We walk tall, our voice is more powerful, and our body language shows the way we feel.”

2. Always Listen: No one wants to feel like they are being scolded, lectured, or ignored when voicing an important concern of theirs- whether it be from their spouse, parent, or employer. Being talked down to is degrading and can put a huge blow into your self-esteem. When your employee is approaching you with a problem or concern about their current job situation, be patient and listen to what they have to say. It is your job as the boss to create a functional and fair office environment, which isn’t possible unless you hear the voices of your employees.

3. Keep it Individualized: It is always important to remember that your employees are not machines or robots, but actual living and breathing human beings. That being said, when talking to an employee, be sure to keep it individualized and personal, not give vague or disconnected answers to whatever issue they may be bringing to you. This will feel impersonal and detached, and make them even more concerned about their placement in the job environment.

Stuart Hern of Business.com writes, “Be personable, but professional. You are their manager and this must be remembered, but being empathetic and trying to understand their point of view is essential in communicating. “

4. Be Flexible and As Accommodating As Possible: Sometimes the solution to an employee problem is right in right of you and easy to solve. Because of this, when dealing with an employee who is concerned about their current job situation and things concerning the office, it is important as an employer to be flexible and as accommodating as possible. Maybe they are dealing with the sickness of a loved one or going through a messy breakup which is thus making work more difficult, give them the flexibility they need to help make the situation easier.

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Talking to an employee who is concerned, disappointed, or sad about their current job situation can be difficult and messy at times. There is never an instruction manual on how to deal with people and their unique personalities and problems. As an employer, however, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you along the way and potentially help to solve your employees’ problems in a smooth and amicable manner. As always, good luck!

By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
Temple alum | columnist at Uloop News | writer at Top5Must & KnowPhilly | photographer | food blogger

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