Managing Employee Issues

RE: The Financial Post,  Canwest News Service

An article titled: “Why Managers Can’t Manage” by Derek Abma.

I was sadly not surprised by this article as I read it on the plane from Kelowna to Montreal. I was on my way to a large communications company to teach various department leaders skills on managing emotions and stress at work. Mr. Abma’s article reminded me of what seems to be a chronic problem and not enough being done about it.

It’s a good eye opener. Mr. Abma referenced conclusions on Shepell-FGI’s survey of human-resources professionals who attended the Health, Work and Wellness Conference in Vancouver in October. Not only are these statistics shocking to read, it’s even more shocking to know how true it is.

Here’s part of what he wrote:

“Among the findings, 84% of respondents said their organizations have no formal process in place to deal with declining employee productivity or behaviour problems. As well, 81% reported not having a structure in place to deal with issues of employee absenteeism, and 64% said their companies have no specific measures for supporting workers who return to work after an extended absence.

The Shepell-FGI report said employee stress levels rise in tough economic times, which can negatively affect productivity and lead to more absenteeism or disability leave. Karen Seward, Shepell’s senior vice-president of business development, said much of the problem comes down to managers’ inability to discuss personal issues with their employees. Survey: Supervisors lack the tools to deal with employee issues”

If communication in leadership is so important, and if people are our greatest resource, then why are leaders not trained in the obvious skill of effective communication and stress reduction? How stressful for them to not have support structures in place to deal with these issues – stressful for their subordinates – and a stressful plunge in health, productivity, and the bottom line.

A never-ending project is usually one that was never clearly defined in the first place.

Give your leaders clearly defined techniques and skills in how to communicate effectively, give them the clearly defined structures in place to deal with employee issues then watch the ‘statictics’ change for the better.