Sometimes problems will occur in the workplace. Employees have issues with other employees and even employers can have a dispute with their employees. Before you start to find a solution to the problem, you need to know the best way to approach it. Ask yourself if it is a simple misunderstanding that can be dealt with informally or are formal procedures the way to go.
What are some common workplace problems?
Many problems can arise in a workplace environment. From less severe issues such as low motivation or communication problems to more challenging ones such as workplace bullying to unfair disciplinary action. If it is something minor, you may find that it is easier to deal with the issue yourself, but if it involves another colleague or you are uncomfortable with the situation, reach out to the appropriate person who deals with these issues.
Other workplace problems include discrimination, harassment, poor management, insufficient training, and a poor work-life balance. It can feel frustrating if you are experiencing something at work that is troubling you. But before you start engaging in options to resolve the issue, you need to define the problem.
Define the problem
Once you have identified that there is a problem, you should evaluate the options and figure out the best course of action. The best way to do this is to use the “five w’s.” What’s the problem? Why is it a problem for you? When did it start? Who is involved? Where does it take place? The more detail you can gather about the workplace issue, the better it will be for the following steps.
Look at the options
If it’s a sensitive issue, then you may feel unable to approach certain members of your company with the workplace problem. Before you engage in any conversations with senior management, look at your options and think of the best way to move forward. Is it a union matter? Do you need to reach out to a third-party organization? Being mistreated in any way is never okay in the workplace and if you know something isn’t quite right, you should address it before the problem gets worse.
Find a solution
Once you’ve evaluated all your options and picked the best way to move forward with your workplace issue, it’s time to find a solution by putting things in motion. Look at your company's policies and procedures that relate to your problem. If it’s a simpler issue such as not receiving adequate breaks or entitlements, a simple email to your HR (human resources) department or your manager could be all you need to do to work towards a solution. However, if you are dealing with bullying in the workplace or gross misconduct, a simple email or conversation will not rectify the problem, there will be specific rules to follow, so make sure you are prepared and know what is expected of you as an employee.
Some top tips to remember
Communication is key when dealing with problems in the work environment. Talking to the right person within the company in a polite, respectful, and professional manner will give you the starting point you need to address whatever issues you have. Most problems in the workplace can be settled by the team collaborating and communicating on how to make your workplace a better environment for everyone. Some issues are more complicated and require a lot of attention to detail and careful consideration, such as those that involve lawful intervention. Don’t be afraid to speak or voice your say if you know something isn’t right in your workplace environment. You deserve to be treated with respect and have the job satisfaction that everyone needs to thrive.