Running your own business often times will have you peering over the fence at your competitors. You will be wondering what they are up to, just what do they plan on releasing? How could they possibly compete directly with your products and or services? Are they perhaps ahead of the curve and are using newer better methods, maybe they know something you do not. It is a tough task to stay on top of all these things but maybe you should look internally for challenges to your business.
Employees are often a source of great ideas, good knowledge and with their skills and ingenuity you can problem solve quickly and effectively. However, there are times when they become a bit trying. They are there to challenge and work with you but that doesn’t mean they cannot disagree with you. In fact think of it through their eyes, they love the industry they work in and have their own ideas about how things should happen. So how can you manage an employee or multiple workers that disagree with your vision, methods and general practices at work?
Come into my office
Once upon a time or two, we have all gotten the tap on our shoulder and been asked to come into the office of the boss or manager. Usually it’s not a good thing because the boss has a got a lot better things to do than to take his or her employees away from their work and just have a chit chat.
No, it is most likely going to be a topic that involves some kind of conflict resolution. It is not always serious but there are rare occasions when things are at boiling point. As the boss, you need to bring employees along with you. They are not robots and they won’t like everything you do. But rather than drag them into your office just to berate them, try your best to win them over! Ask them face to face to come into your office and when they step in, make them feel comfortable.
Offer them a drink of water. Start off with a little bit of ‘outside work’ talk. Speak to them about how they are doing and if they’re feeling fine. Then you should speak directly to them about their disagreement with something you said or want done. Don’t mince your words but don’t be rude either. It is time to put the diplomat hat on.
Go over your reasoning but do so more in depth, more detail than you would during a morning meetings with employees. Show them the behind the scenes factoring and why you want certain things done in a certain way. Explain some of the challenges you face and give them the straight truth of the things you hope to achieve when those things are done. A face to face, calm talk like this with employees usually brings around the doubters and staunchly against.
The office is a hazard!?
You would think that an office would be the last place you would be worried about your health and safety right? It is just a bunch of workstations, chairs and computers so what could possibly go wrong? Well, look at it this way, your entire office is basically thousands and thousands of meters of electrical wiring. Hundreds of thousands of volts can run through a commercial office building.
If you are in a high-rise office building, you can be sure that you are never more than 1 meter away from electrical wires. This can be a health hazard in the office if the wires are not properly secured, covered and strapped down. Over time, a lot of things wear and tear in an office. A lot of people are working all the time and things just get worn down. If an employee is hurt by electrical wires, they can hire a team of personal injury lawyers that specifically work on work related accidents.
High-voltage shocks are a serious injury, one that can last for your entire lifetime. So working together with a legal team to be cooperative as you can is a good idea to mitigate huge losses from a suit. Most of the time serious electrical injuries are going to leave behind burn marks. If an employee is hurt and is angry at you as their boss, you should make personal contact with them. Speak to them on the phone and ask how they are. It is far better to engage in communication and settle any lawsuits outside of court so you can get back to work without the bad publicity.
Remember who you are
Something that cannot be taught to any budding entrepreneur is the sad truth of parting ways with a great employee. You will find that as the boss, you come to rely on great minds and hard workers. In among a sea of workers, you will only get a handful of these people. They are dedicated and truly do believe in what they are doing. They will have strong views and that’s exactly what makes them so great. However remember who you are, you’re their boss and not their friend first and foremost. No boss is ever going to survive if they cling onto personal relationships that should be only professional.
Don’t ever feel like you cannot let really good employees go if they cannot get along with you. Managing strong disagreements doesn’t come natural but it also doesn’t come with a magic wand. Yes, sometimes you have to stick to your principles and really weigh up the possibility that you will have to let someone go if they don’t follow your orders. It’s the sad truth but ultimately, you should have the stomach to fire someone if after your attempts to persuade them they still cannot do what you ask.
No employee should ever feel like they cannot come up and talk to you as their boss. However, it also doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything they say just to placate them. Every boss has to go through this maturing transition whereby they try to persuade those that disagree with them, even their own employees. However, a face to face talk and explanation of your reasoning can often make the employees see your vision more clearly.