Guest Post by Gemma Reeves:
Managing staff can be somewhat of a minefield. Each employee has a different level of pain/stress tolerance, thus their experience in a company could vary greatly. Certain rules may be okay for some employees, while some are not. Some employees can work under pressure, while some can’t. Some love to work with a huge team, while some prefer to work solo or in just small groups.
This is where the Human Resources (HR) department comes in. Part of their job is to ensure harmony in the workplace by aligning the right people to certain tasks, jobs and departments that fit their skills and preferences. They do this by working closely with operations.
However, the process is not perfect. and often, Managers only realize that something is up when an employee leaves or submits a complaint.
Some of these complaints are very common – which means that they are found in almost any workplace from any type of industry. Here are five top complaints and how to solve them.
1. Pay Inequality
Most employers prohibit employees from talking about their salaries, but this is a topic that is hard to avoid. Senior employees would feel that their salaries are lower compared to new hires who are given a high starting salary by the company – and most of the time, they are right (especially if the annual raise is only 2 to 4%.). If this continues, you may lose senior and veteran people on the team. Even the newer hires would eventually feel the inequality once their salaries are stuck in the annual 2 to 4% raise, while fresh hires get better starting rates.
It is understandable that the company also needs to compete with others in the industry (in terms of salary rate), since this is a way to attract good talent. However, don’t forget to nurture your existing employees as well.
Keep in mind that their compensation should be at par with their expertise. This is how you keep great talent, and reduce your recruitment activities (which is actually more costly in the long run). Avoid offering a very high starting salary rate – it would be better if you highlight perks and benefits or attract them with the promise of a high annual raise instead.
Also bear in mind gender pay gaps which is extremely prevalent right now. Make sure people are paid equally for equal work.
Many institutions or organizations play favorites (sometimes without being particularly conscious of it), but your company should not be one of them. Favouritism (or perceived favouritism) can have a very negative impact on the workforce. If managers and supervisors show favoritism, it will be the end of quality and meritocracy in the workplace. Some employees will just take advantage and show-off supposedly great work (or talk), when in fact, it was poorly or mediocrely done in the first place.
When hiring or promoting people to supervisory and managerial tasks, make sure they are the kind of people that are not easily influenced by appearance and sweet talk. Invest in people who are reasonable, diligent and straightforward with the job.
Another thing with favoritism is that, the ‘favorites’ can just get away with almost anything without repercussion. They can be late without incurring pay cuts, or they can go on vacation for longer periods of time (because the manager allowed them to). This will feel unfair for the other employees, and it may even encourage others to disrespect office rules, since the others are not following it anyway.
3. Confusion of Tasks
When employees are confused as to which tasks and projects should they work on, then there is a huge organizational problem within the team (or the whole company). Such confusion can lead to a waste of time, effort and resources – not just on the employees, but for the company as well. Make sure supervisors or managers know who should work on what, and that expectations from each employee are made clear to avoid overlapping of responsibilities.
4. Credit Grabbing
Being recognized for their hard work is one of the most rewarding moments of an employee – but if that credit goes to someone else (or the wrong person), then that could spell trouble.
Credit grabbing would not happen in the first place if employees and teams actually know what or which tasks they should work on, including other responsibilities and duties in the workplace. Solving this requires eliminating any confusion of tasks, as discussed in number three. It also means being conscious of everyone in the team and the role they play. Some staff will naturally be quieter than others and often these are the staff who have done the most work and perhaps don’t get the credit they deserve as other’s shout louder.
Managers or supervisors that watch over their employees like a Hawk that is about to swoop down on its prey, usually cause a lot of tension within the workplace. Some employees cannot even concentrate on their work when they have a Manager like this, and will unfortunately dread every working day in their life. People also like the freedom to have a little creativity with their work and make it their own. Be careful not to suffocate staff or they will start to become disengaged and may seek work elsewhere.
HR are there to work with the Managers to remind them that their subordinates should be trusted and relied on (and given a little breathing space!). They were hired because they are good and talented people – there’s no need to look over their shoulders from 9 to 5, it is enough that they make sure their people pass quality work on time, and can improve on whatever feedback that was given to them.
These are just five of the more common HR complaints. It is important to pay attention to the most common employee complaints because the success of the company won’t be possibleif such complaints are not addressed and resolved.. If your employees remain disgruntled and demoralized because of such complaints, they’ll be off finding better opportunities on LinkedIn and other job sites in no time (and possibly even using the company PC while they’re at it)!
If you don’t have an inhouse team the an HR outsourcing company can help you get on top of these common complaints.
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business. Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace