How do I identify the problem?
First, think through the key facts about the problem, and gather any relevant information. Often the act of collecting the information is the first step towards resolving the issue. Be honest with yourself. Omitting important facts or amending the facts can make the problem worse.
The kinds of questions you might need to ask yourself are:
- What are the details of the employment agreement?
- What are the days and hours of work?
- What is the job description?
- What type of business is involved?
- When and how did the problem arise?
- Does the problem involve one employee or a group of employees?
- What actions have you taken already?
- Have you talked to the person or people involved about the problem?
Sometimes it’s worth running through the problem with a friend or colleague to see what questions they have about your story. Often the underlying cause of a problem is not obvious.
For example, an employee who is performing poorly may have:
- inadequate training
- poor equipment
- lack of confidence in seeking assistance from a supervisor
- misunderstandings about entitlements such as sick or holiday pay
- health and safety issues, such as concern about long hours.
Equally, an employer concerned about performance may be influenced by factors such as:
- poor time keeping.
Whether you are an employer or employee, it is worth spending some time at this stage trying to identify the underlying cause in order to see how the problem might be resolved.