At times, employees may just want to vent their frustration or share their anxiety. Anxiety provoking situations are those that involve changes in relation to work performance expectations, implementation of new procedures and rules and due to conflict between colleagues. These things can disrupt routines or expectations can trigger anxiety. Acknowledge others concerns and try not to minimize their feelings. People focus on what is important to them and how it affects them directly. There will be multiple factors that will affect work performance, productivity or ones psychological and physiological health.
If you are asked questions to which you do not have the answers at that time, make sure that you let your employees know that once you find out the answers, you will share the information with them. Always follow up on your promises to employees. It shows that you’re reliable and responsible to your employees; that you’re a team player not just a team leader.
If you need to speak to an employee about their work performance, try to do it in person instead of via email or over the telephone. If you have to use email or have to leave a voice message, request that the employee calls you back to discuss the issue at hand. Avoid making presumptions or accusations such as “you did this… and did not do that…” First ask your employee about what had transpired. Allow him to tell you his side of the story before assuming anything. As a supervisor, if you make a mistake and accuse an employee of doing something that he did not do; own your error. It is better to be a fair supervisor than trying to have the last word. Your employees are your audience at all times. Your customers and your superiors are your other audience.
If two employees have a conflict of with each other, set a meeting to address the issue preferable the following day. Act as a neutral mediator and the time will allow you to gather information from both parties. Postponing the meeting allows for the sorting out of emotions and for tempers to cool off. During the meeting, as you remain objective, assist these employees in coming to a resolution to their problem on their own. Give them feedback from your unbiased point of view and ask them to come up with suggestions about what needs to change, in order for their work and interpersonal relationship to improve. Acknowledge each of their concerns and ask them to own their own contribution to this discord between one another. In some cases, you may solicit the presence and assistance of your human resources personnel in order to remain impartial during the conflict resolution phase. If you’re the head of a family ran business, then allocate this responsibility to another neutral party.
When you convey information to your employees in the form of emails, letters, or via telephone as well as in person, make sure that you use the appropriate salutations. Emails or letters that are sent to the entire team or more than one recipient need to indicate that. For example: “To all team members, to all staff, or the names of the individuals: John Doe, Jane Doe, and when sending information to your business customers/clients proper designations such as: Mr. Doe, Ms. Doe (these should not be omitted even if your outbound correspondence shows the information under CC or recipients in the email heading area. This information should be to the point without the presence of personal reflections or accusations. You may want to invite a reply with questions or comments, and include the confirmation option when you’re sending an email to someone.
How To Be a Good Supervisor: Made Easy (Amazon Kindle E-book)