It is important for the employer to determine what may have caused the employee’s dissatisfaction

Cookeville – No matter how good a culture an employer has, it is likely that the employer will have to deal with a disgruntled or stubborn employee. 

The question is how to effectively deal with such an employee. There are many options available to the employer when encountering a disgruntled employee. Usually, the task is assigned to Human Resources to determine whether a disgruntled employee can be properly guided so that they can remain a productive part of the organization. Especially in our current job market it is important for employers to retain qualified employees. So, the first goal should be to rehabilitate and retain the employee.

So, what is a disgruntled or stubborn employee? 

Literally it is an employee that “grunts” or is opposed to something either inside or outside the workplace. There are many challenges to dealing with a disgruntled or stubborn employee, but human resources task is to attempt resolution, so the employee does not remain dissatisfied.

If an employer is unable to properly interact with and motivate a disgruntled employee, the employer may end up with that proverbial rotten apple that negatively impacts other employees in the workplace. 

It is important for the employer to determine what may have caused the employee’s dissatisfaction. Oftentimes the employee may be disgruntled for reasons that are outside of the workplace. Although issues arising outside of the workplace are beyond the employer’s control proactively addressing the employee’s issue is well within the employer’s control. To begin the process of addressing the employee’s concerns the first task is to determine the origin of the dissatisfaction. There are many things that may result in an employee becoming disgruntled or dissatisfied within the workplace. Obviously, human resources must determine the origin of dissatisfaction before a proper resolution plan can be put in place to properly address and remedy the employee’s dissatisfaction.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has identified four primary issues to look for including:

  • poor performance
  • absenteeism
  • bad attitude
  • drops in performance. 

It is important to note that none of these issues may be present in a disgruntled employee.  Likewise, one or more of these issues may be present which does not necessarily equate to the employee being disgruntled. 

When managing a disgruntled employee, it is important for the employer to always remain professional even though the process may be challenging depending on how boisterous the employee may be during the process. As an employer does in all other types of investigations the matter should remain as confidential as possible within the organization. All employers understand the process needs to be well documented.  Obviously, the employer’s goal in managing a disgruntled employee is to resolve the issue, however, discipline may be necessary. Depending on the facts the discipline may range from an oral or written warning up to suspension or discharge. 

Once the origin of dissatisfaction is known human resources can develop a plan of action to address and remedy the issues presented. It is a good practice to follow up with the employee following original communications to ensure that the resolution plan is effective.  If so, perhaps just one more follow-up will be necessary. If not, then human resources will have to continue the dialogue with the disgruntled employee to address and hopefully resolve the source of dissatisfaction. 

If the employee is reasonably receptive to input from human resources, then the employee can be successfully retained. If  the employee does not participate in good faith and/or chooses to disregard the employer’s input continued employment is unlikely. 

Image by jcomp on Freepik.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.