The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 11, Number 1
Jan 1987

How to Avoid Potential Problems with Employees

by Blair Condie
Manager of Employee Relations, Brigham Young University

Someone once said, "The secret to human relations is to treat people more like humans and less like relations."

Hire Properly

Write down the skills and qualifications needed for the job.

Write down the duties, tasks, or responsibilities of the job.

Establish a written list of interview questions.

Conduct a structured interview.

Emphasize references.

Orient and Train Effectively

Don't assume the employee understands the basics.

Things that are common and mundane to you are probably frightening and confusing to the mew employee.

Time spent here will be repaid many times over.

Biggest complaint of employees is that they did not receive adequate training.

Establish and Communicate Reasonable Expectations and Rules

This must be an ongoing process.

Use Job Talk [sitting down with the employee and talking with them about their job; giving feedback and giving them a chance to express themselves; joint planning discussions]

Recognize Excellent Or Beyond Normal Performance

Verbally commend and recognize employees for extra mile effort.

Failure to recognize effort can lead to employee discouragement and distress.

Unrealized expectations bring negative results.

Involve Employees in the Big Picture

Communicate the overall mission to your employees.

Keep them informed of major decisions and information.

Deal With Potential Problems in the Early Stages

Don't be afraid to confront poor performance or unacceptable behavior.

Most employees have a desire to do a good job and to please their boss.

Many employers hesitate to confront their employees--however, most employees would prefer that their boss tell them if they are not performing satisfactorily.

Accurately Evaluate Performance

Don't inflate performance appraisals to be kind or generous.

Use Warning Letters to Communicate Need for Behavior Change

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