A very widespread issue among business owners of all types is – they just don’t know how to talk to staff when there is an issue.
As consultants – we are asked for help with these staff issues all day every day. Here are some of the many issues we help our clients resolve on a daily basis:
A staff member who is upset she did not make the threshold for a bonus in a practice where the bonus plan is objective and not discretionary.
Most (not all) practice owners, when faced with situations similar to the above, do one of two things:
The worst thing always of course– is to do nothing. So, owners who take step two above i.e. fire the staff member, are at least doing something! And thus, wind up in a much better situation than those who do nothing. However, a more ideal scenario in order to address staff issues, is to be willing to communicate to the employee – though not of course when you’re angry and upset about it – as that will worsen the situation.
Otherwise, the problem is that unhandled staff issues cause incredible pain – both psychologically & financially to a business owner.
There is, for example, the following:
In fairness, CPAs and EAs don’t receive any management training. They just have whatever God-given communication ability they were born with to tackle these issues.
Some owners try to talk to their spouses about the ‘problem person’ – with mixed results and often the spouse also feels angry about the situation, and does not therefore have the ability to suggest a neutral way to handle it.
The best approach when dealing with difficult employees is:
The main thing (and this is easy to forget) is that the job of a leader/business owner is to grow the team and then it’s actually the team that grows your practice.
Most owners are instead trying to grow the practice, from their own desk, and as productive and capable as they often are, there are serious limitations to how much they alone can achieve in terms of significant growth. They wind up getting completely overwhelmed and stressed out. There is a large payback to learning how to talk to your staff – so you can get high production, cooperation, and contributions from your team – in order to have a growing fun and positive practice!
Are you ready to tackle staff issues head-on? Need some help? We guide business owners every day to help them resolve employee-related problems and achieve success. Schedule a free consultation today.