In this week’s show we are talking about what to do with that unhappy and disillusioned team member. This person may show up as displeased and discontented. One of the first questions we need to be able to answer is ‘how do we know they are “unhappy” or dissatisfied?’ Making assumptions about this isn’t always the best idea. This is key and has significance. There is no substitute for asking directly.
Firstly, did they suddenly become that way? What is the track record with this person? What is their performance like and was there a sudden change? The history of performance is key. And did something suddenly change within the work context that could be influencing their response and performance?
Acknowledgement matters and this is where it all begins. Don’t wait to see if this “clears up”. If you notice that two days in a row “Stacey” is coming to the office and not her usual self, ask! The best time to address the situation was yesterday. Assume nothing and assess the situation. And sort the two files; what is in your control and what isn’t as their leader. Maybe it is that thing and maybe it isn’t.
Sometimes people are discontent because they don’t have the tools to do their job well or they feel uncertain. As a manager, you can change these things quickly. Know what is within your control and look for those things. Then know what is within their control and ask for an agreement to change. If it is their attitude in meetings and lack of participation, ask for a change. If it is they are gossiping; ask for a change.
Each person has 100% responsibility to what is occurring. It’s easy to start pointing the finger about how people “should” be acting.
Genuine curiosity about how they are feeling with a new process or what they think is needed next really matters. Last but not least; be ready to let go if the circumstances don’t change. No one wants to be unhappy at work and this includes your team member.
How have you managed these situations and what has worked for you as a leader?