Have you noticed that when your staff have high-volume days, a few days later they seem to have low-volume days, no energy, may be grumbling, discontented and exhibit poor behaviour?
Why is this the case when it should not be?
When you notice your staff persistently causing tension within your office because they are unhappy, have you acknowledged the underlying issues or have you buried your head in the sand hoping it will go away?
This may have worked in the past, but at what cost to your staff and your business?
Have you considered that there is an alternative solution that allows you to better control the conversations within your office?
There are many ways you as principal can use your position to control the behaviour and attitudes of your staff. Changing the culture within your office is possible once you have identified what your staff have issues with. Once you've determined the new direction of the office, you should speak to the whole of the organisation advising of possible structural changes.
From this point, your team has to choose whether they will either enhance their personal and professional lives or perhaps they will see that your office is no longer for them. This phase should be embraced as it empowers your team to achieve goals on a daily basis and quietens the rumblings. Additionally, the discussions from within the office will take on a positive flavour.
Each principal has his or her own way of delegation and leading their teams. Some principals are proactive and work closely with their staff while others delegate this extremely important position. If the selection process is not completed with absolute care, the wrong person is employed.
Disgruntled staff often verbalise their concerns and if they are not acknowledged they will fester, causing issues with staff and management. Your office was previously productive, staff satisfaction was high, but now your unhappy staff members have created an unhappy and stressful atmosphere. The seed of malcontent should have been weeded out long ago rather than being ignored and allowed to fester within your office.
Conversations with the disgruntled team member should have been had months ago to avoid situations where the office runs the risk of:
• Low staff morale
• Low staff retention
• Low client retention
• Poor reviews from tenants
• Office of Fair Trading complaints
• Continual QCAT hearings
Each of the above risk factors have the potential to jeopardise your bottom line in short- and long-term financial targets.
When contemplating what discussions should be had and with whom, formulate your theme long before entering the meeting. This will enable you to stay focused on the task, engage your staff member and obtain the information objectively without emotion
Once the meeting is over, advise that you will speak again over the next week to monitor the situation. This allows for close-quarter monitoring of their work performance as well as the mood of the office.
You are not looking for blame, but constructively engage, supervise or offer support when and where needed. While staff may become suspicious at first, they should within a couple of visits realise you are really there to support them. In future, they will willingly bring items of concern straight to you, which will give you a better insight into the real cause and effect of their problems.
Remember, not everyone will agree with your conclusions: they should, however, respect your decision – if not, then it may be best to let them go. Stay focused, have courage and move your business in the direction which you seek.