As a manager, having an awkward conversation with employees is one of the more challenging aspects of your job. However, a sit-down is often vital for the success of your organization. Disruptive behavior from just one employee can impact your work culture negatively, so it is crucial to address these problems head-on. With some planning, having a difficult conversation with your employees might not be as hard as you might think.
You must do some homework before an awkward meeting with employees. Observations are not enough; you will need facts. You must be able to present your expectations and give solid reasons why your employees are failing to meet those expectations. Presenting facts will eliminate any room for interpretation on the part of your employees. Remember that it will be tough to enforce policies that were never clearly defined.
Maintain a Positive Tone
A positive atmosphere during a problematic meeting will prevent your employees from going on the defensive and becoming argumentative. Avoid only telling your employees what is wrong. Try to provide positive ways they can improve and provide them with the tools to do it. Try to avoid making your employees feel as though they are in trouble, which will result in a loss of motivation for the job. Maintain an open dialogue and always end the meeting on a positive note.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
It is common for difficult meetings to become emotionally charged. Strive to keep the meeting fact-based while keeping your personal feelings in check. Avoid biased emotional elements while staying supportive of the employees. If emotions do come into play, pause the meeting and reschedule it.
Find the Right Place for the Meeting
A proper location for the meeting can help you set the appropriate tone. Your own office may be an acceptable location. A general dialogue over coffee or lunch is good, or you may wish to go off-site to lessen any possible embarrassment. If the conversation will have a serious tone, avoid the coffee, and select a formal site such as a conference room.
Have a Witness Present
Having a witness present at the meeting is essential. A witness is especially important when a meeting involves policy violations, behavioral issues, or any situations that might include disciplinary action. An on-site HR representative can function in this role. Never involve another employee as a witness. Brief the third party before the meeting, so you are both clear about the proceedings.
Looking for Employees?
An awkward conversation with employees does not need to be detrimental to your organization. Productive dialogue with employees is crucial for attracting and keeping great employees. If you are looking for top-notch employees for your organization, check out what SIS has to offer. SIS can help you staff your company with the right people to help your business grow successfully.