Difficult Situations Managers Can Face & How to Deal With Them

by Ruth Altman

Being the manager is no easy feat. Whether it’s trouble with personnel, weak numbers, dealing with competitors or anything in between, managers must diffuse and improve working conditions when situations are less than ideal. When it comes to dealing with difficult situations, a good manager approaches the scenario with astuteness followed by action.

Bad Employees, Intervention, Termination

Whether it’s chronic tardiness, weak sales numbers, rudeness or apathy, poorly performing employees are difficult situations for managing the workplace. Managers must first decide if the behavior is offensive enough to merit recruiting and training a new employee. If it isn’t, the manager must then face the process of correcting the offending employee's actions. To best deal with the situation, don’t ignore the problem and take action as soon as it's brought to your attention. Intervene and research the problem yourself, then determine the appropriate course of action. Help the employee get back on track with ongoing meetings and feedback. When all else fails, managers must consider termination with the help of the human resources department.

Employee Turnover, Morale, Delegation

Employee turnover is inevitable, but when the company’s most valued asset puts in their two-week notice, it can cause panic. Office morale, employee gossip and, worse, finding an equivalent replacement can each present a challenge to any well-meaning manager. Now is the time to focus on the positive and keep office spirits high. Delegate responsibilities until you are able to find a suitable replacement. Be open to discussion and look internally for any potential employee replacement. If you must hire from outside, work with a recruiter to simplify the process of hiring while finding the right talent for the job.

Interpersonal Conflict

With so many personalities in one place, conflict is sure to arise. When it does, be prepared to discuss the situation at hand while taking action thereafter. Start by booking a meeting with the employees in question in a neutral place. Allow 10 minutes for both parties to discuss their side, and what they can personally bring to the table to resolve the issue. Negotiate a settlement based on both parties resolutions.

Budget Cuts, Operational Expenses, Efficiency

When the corporate office makes changes to your budget, many aspects of managing the workplace can go awry, and meeting operational goals can suddenly present a challenge. To make the most of budget cuts, managers should look for areas where funds can be reallocated to reduce inefficiency and, most importantly, be reused for important operational functions such as payroll or marketing. Be creative in your approach and consider options like going paperless, going green and cutting down on business lunches which can all lead to a more balanced, manageable budget.

About the Author

Ruth Altman writes on business, lifestyle and careers. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Pepperdine University in addition to a bachelor's degree from Harvard University.

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