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Besides giving you a management migraine, bad employee morale will hurt your workplace environment as well as your profits.

So it’s important to immediately address morale issues and problem employees. Always remember: Whenever you have complaints or negativity, what you’ll find are fearful employees.

So you must solve the issues and eliminate or at least minimize the fear.

Here’s how to solve typical problems:

— Never ignore complaints even from problem employees or chronic complainers. Sometimes the complaints aren’t trivial. Fully respond to an employee who has an axe to grind.

When complaints aren’t trivial and after the chronic complainers face examination, they often realize how silly they look.


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— Scrutinize complaints and the reasons for them. Either the complainers are alone in the criticism or they might be speaking for their whole department.

Fully investigate the situation. Talk with anyone who might be aware of what’s transpired.


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— If you find evidence of an issue, check to see if it violates your company policy. Discipline might be necessary.

But remember there is a difference between an insubordinate employee and one who is merely annoyed about a minor pet peeve.

Whenever you have complaints or negativity, what you’ll find are fearful employees.

— Regarding the possibility of taking formal disciplinary action or terminations, don’t take a severe step over a series of minor problems.

Don’t insert a series of reprimands in the employees’ formal file. Just keep a separate record as reminders. Each complaint should be evaluated right away on its own circumstance.


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— On the other hand, don’t procrastinate when discipline is warranted. Don’t be dissuaded from taking disciplinary action even if employees claim you’re retaliating for something they’ve done.

So exercise all your rights as an employer to discipline employees whose behavior is unsatisfactory even if they have filed complaints.

— Keep an open door policy. Be attentive and listen to any concerns. Be a good sounding board. Don’t run from any conflict. Act quickly with confidence and reassure your affected employees when necessary.

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks:

7 Management Tips – Communication with Difficult Employees — Multiple problems including loss of profit result from ineffectively dealing with difficult employees. Here are seven Biz Coach tips.

Management: Coach Your Employees to Better Performance — In talent management, coaching, counseling and giving feedback is of utmost importance. But it’s a difficult challenge if you don’t have a coaching culture.

Why Your Technology Might Cause Employees to Quit — If your company employs poor technology tools, it means you’ll risk losing employees according to research. Here’s what to do about it.

Management – How to Improve Accountability in Your Company — If business and tepid growth have affected your outlook, take a look at your human resources and consider a couple of questions. If you don’t like your answer, here are eight solutions.

Management: 5 Most Common Reasons to Fire Employees — With difficult or underperforming employees, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. Here’s what to do.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”

-H. P. Lovecraft


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.