How to Solve Personnel Problems

    December 22, 2003

In every company I have consulted or coached, there exists personnel problems. Natural, you may say, and assume nothing can be done about it. But I have found a pattern behind these personnel issues, and an easy, effortless, and effective way to shift employees who are seen as “problems” to become employees with whom it is a delight to work. It is not necessary to “write off” problem employees when solutions are available that will benefit them personally and the company for whom they work.

The process of taking an employee who challenges the company or leadership of the company and creating an employee who becomes a dedicated and committed team member doesn’t involve re-training of tasks or job, or threatening the employee, or doing a write-up and counseling session of employee behavior. However, the practice I see most frequently in organizations is to bring the employee in, talk to them about what they are doing wrong and what isn’t working, and sometimes, to scare them or threaten them with further action, or instill in them the fear of losing their job. This doesn’t achieve anything positive, and in fact, makes matters worse.

What typically happens is the person feels poorly about themselves, the company, their employer or manager, and promptly begins to have more negative feelings about work, and usually, doesn’t even want to show up for work. The process results in negative energy and emotions and takes the employee to a low level of morale, performance, and productivity, which in turn, can adversely affect the morale and productivity of everybody who has to work with them.

When I teach organizations to ask new questions of employees and to teach employees a process of asking new questions of themselves, the employees begin to feel more positive energy. They think better of themselves and begin to think better thoughts about the company, their leaders, and co-workers. When the energy shifts and becomes more positive, the employee feels happier and is in a more positive frame of mind to do their work and be a viable team member.

Here are some tips for creating an organizational culture that is more positive and has less employee/personnel problems:

1. Ask the question “What is working?” or “What is going RIGHT?” frequently, and teach employees to use this question as their own self-talk.

2. Give employees and leaders new questions to ask to get new answers. If we ask ourselves the same questions, we get the same answers. Instead of asking the same questions of employees or of ourselves, we need to broaden the questions to let in more creative ideas and solutions. We want to stop asking what is going wrong and asking other questions that make us feel bad and deplete our energy.

3. Co-creation. When something is a problem or a challenge and isn’t going quite right yet, we want to speak with employees to co-create new ideas and solutions. We want employees to give input and be part of the process by finding out what ideas, resources, or solutions do THEY have to make things more right.

4. BELIEVE. We have to fully believe employees want and can do a great job. When something isn’t going right, we simply have to figure out, along with them, what isn’t quite right YET – we fully need to expect it will be – we’ll get whatever it is we believe.

5. ACT as IF. We must act as if the employee IS successful and treat them with respect and dignity and give them our full confidence, even when their performance may be under par. Doing so will enhance their self-esteem, and their belief and trust in us. It’s very hard to perform poorly when somebody has such great faith and belief in you and who openly respects and encourages you. It makes you want to try harder and to make the necessary shifts.

Just making these 5 shifts creates employees who have more positive energy and enthusiasm and changes the culture of a company to that of belief, potential, and a what IS working frame of mind. It is a strategy that costs nothing to implement and the benefits are long lasting and far-reaching. It is simply a matter of building people up instead of knocking them down.

Click here to sign up for FREE B2B newsletters from iEntry!

Written by Terri Levine, MCC, PCC, MS, CCC-SLP, the CEO of Coaching, popular Master Certified personal and business Coach, sought after Public Speaker, and Author of bestsellers, Stop Managing, Start Coaching, “Work Yourself Happy”, “Coaching for an Extraordinary Life” and Create Your Ideal Body. She can be contacted via the web site or by telephone: 215-699-4949.