As a manager, have you ever confronted your subordinates on a mistake they committed or a problem they might have caused? How did you do it? What was their reaction? How did you both feel afterwards? How do you behave around each other now?
Or maybe you’ll just avoid confrontation because you don’t want to cause any scene in the workplace. Perhaps if you leave it alone for the time being, the problem will be solved eventually. What if your employees label you as the “mean” boss if you confront them?
These are some of the questions that you’ll consider before approaching your employee. However, it’s important to remember that talking to and correcting your employees are part of your job description. There are certain things to keep in mind when doing so:
- Be Objective
Confront them without making any presumptions, whether positive or negative. Listen to their side of the story before making any judgments. For example, if you have to correct an employee who has a bad track record, don’t automatically assume the worst. Hear their side of the story before making any judgments. However, don’t assume that someone who has never committed a mistake will never stumble. Anyone is vulnerable to falter eventually.
- Be Professional
Don’t raise your voice or let personal emotions get in the way of your responsibility. Make it clear that you’re not out to discriminate the employee but looking to solve the problem as a team. Remember that you are all part of the company and working towards the same goal – growth.
- Be Forgiving
It’s good to remind yourself that we are all human beings prone to make mistakes. However, there are still consequences for inappropriate actions. If you lose trust and confidence because of these actuations apply a few restrictions until they can regain it back. However, make it very clear that you are not holding a grudge. Otherwise, you might end up with a disgruntled employee who will badmouth the company verbally or through social media.
- Be Prepared
Do your research. Has the employee repeated the same infraction over a significant period of time? If not, then these might just be an isolated case. If there is a patter of poor behaviour and a discussion is necessary, you must anticipate how they might react to a confrontation. Be ready with what you will suggest in terms of how they can improve the situation.
- Be Direct
Don’t waste anyone’s time; if there is a problem, mention it right away. However, chose an approach that will offer constructive feedback in addition to addressing the issue, such as the sandwich method. Begin with a positive remark, explain the problem and end with a compliment. As long as all parties involved realise that there is a situation that needs attention, your resolution will be successful.
It’s easy to ignore problems when they arise and to think that they will go away in time. However, as a manager, it is your duty to solve any concerns with your employees in the workplace. The role of the manager is never easy, but hopefully these tips will leave you feeling prepared.
J. Tjoandi | DBPC Blog