An angry or disgruntled employee can poison your business, spreading dissension and negative attitudes among employees, diminishing its reputation by badmouthing it to customers, and harming productivity by reduced performance. In some instances, resentments disgruntled employees feel can turn deadly, as their anger and dissatisfaction pushes them to acts of violence.
Workplace violence training can help business owners equip managers and other employees with the tools necessary to nudge dissatisfied employees into better habits and attitudes, and equip them to handle worst-case scenarios.
When workplace violence occurs, company leaders often never see it coming. While managers may be aware that an employee has a beef with the company or is dissatisfied, this is often dismissed as normal venting. When problem employees are fired, the matter is all too often handled in a way that pushes an angry employee over the edge.
These tips can help business owners better address employee dissatisfaction and handle extreme situations:
- Dialogue – While the knee jerk reaction to an employee slacking off or poor-mouthing the company may be to fire that employee, it’s not always the right action. Replacing employees takes time, and companies often have quite a bit invested in existing employees, in terms of training and institutional knowledge. Also, sometimes employees have very legitimate reasons to be disgruntled with their work. Talking to employees, learning their grievances, and working together to resolve them can lead to a resolution that’s good for both parties.
- Document – While the best outcome for the situation is to right the ship and have your employee resume being happy and productive, that’s not always going to happen. Keep records of discussions and disciplinary actions in case you need justification to part ways with the employee. Even if you’re in an at-will employment state, keeping records is important in case litigation occurs.
- Know when to request assistance – Some incidents with disgruntled employees can become extremely volatile. If violence is threatened or ensues, managers should alert authorities immediately. Workplace violence is an increasing problem, but law enforcement intervention can help nip serious situations in the bud.
- Get training – Active shooter training can be good for preparing managers and employees for potentially dangerous situations. Even if all your employees are happy and invested in your company’s success, a variety of other situations may cause a disturbed individual to open fire in your office. Active shooter response training teaches individuals what to do in these situations, helping them to avoid panicking and becoming easy targets.
In many cases, a good manager can work with disgruntled employees, and help them adopt better behaviors and attitudes. In other situations, a parting of the ways is inevitable, as your company may just not be the right fit for that employee. Managing the process correctly can help reduce the risk of an unfortunate incident in your workplace.
Alamom Consulting, Inc. offers a variety of business improvement consulting services to clients, including active shooter safety consulting. Established in 2014, Alamom Consulting, Inc. seeks to provide advice that will help clients enhance efficiency, foster innovation, and mitigate risk.