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Effective Management: A Practical Introduction - 9 Common Employee Problems and How To Avoid Them

By Lyndsay Swinton

Many workplace problems can be avoided with effective management. A practical introduction to 9 common employee problems and how to avoid them can save you the hassle and heartache of learning the management ropes. Read on and learn how to become an effective manager.

In Late, Home Early
Flexible hours and hot-desking have enabled the work-shy to shave their working week right down. Tried and tested work waster tricks include; leaving a coat or other evidence of being busy at work but not being seen for hours, sending emails early in the morning, late at night or at weekends to prove apparent commitment or having many medical appointments. Don't be fooled!

Blah Blah Blah
It's an unwritten rule that the odd personal phone-call or email is unavoidable and acceptable at work. But when your project manager is more like a party planner, then it's time to write the unwritten.

What's Yours Is Mine
It starts innocently enough. Just a few photocopies of a recipe for the mother-in-law. Or little Kevin could use those post-it notes to aid his studies. And those are lovely pens to write with, I'll just slip a few in my pocket and no-one will mind. Allowing petty pilfering is a no-no as costs mount when boundaries slip.

Silvery Moonlight
Beware employees who have skills that can be free-lanced or can utilise proprietary information. Valued clients may prefer to pay for work directly than pay your company, so make your policy clear about moonlighting and avoid misunderstanding.

Employee v Family
As companies expand and grow, the distance between employer and employee needs to grow too. Problems arise when previous "understandings" or working arrangements cannot be fairly and consistently applied to each and every employee

Swinging the Lead
A much disliked naval task of old was taking a depth checking, using a heavy lead weight on a long line. Common practice amongst shirkers was to swing the lead-line about for much longer than necessary, thus avoiding any other tasks. Nowadays, swinging the lead is used to describe the practice of taking evasive action to avoid work - be it "sickies" for hangovers, interviews or to avoid using holiday allowance. Record attendance carefully and watch for patterns in sickness.

Different Strokes
Having innocently applied for a graduate placement at a food manufacturing giant, I was wisely advised that the role would most likely be in a meat processing plant. This was a euphemism for an abattoir, with blood, guts and brains aplenty. Being vegetarian at the time, I politely withdrew my application!

I Don't Work Mondays, Wednesdays, or Nights.
If the job requires flexible working, you need flexible people. If religion dictates certain constraints about hours, duties or other responsibilities then these need to be known up-front and considered appropriately. Although religious tolerance and diversity is critical, you need to be realistic about a person's ability to do a job.

Don't Sit So Close To Me
Tony's smelly feet put everyone off work. Laughable though it may seem, personal hygiene problems or other anti-social behaviour can cause inordinate amounts of disquiet among your people. Take your head out of the sand and deal with it. (Find out how to give Tony this negative feedback well).

Avoid common workplace problems with effective management. This practical introduction brings to light 9 tried and tested employee tricks and teaches you how to deal with them.

By Lyndsay Swinton
Owner, Management for the Rest of Us

practical management introduction pdf Download 'Practical Management Introduction' in pdf format

Citation Information: Swinton, Lyndsay. " Effective Management: A Practical Introduction - 9 Common Employee Problems and How To Avoid Them." 26 May 2007. < >.

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