Universal ‘People Problems’ in the Workplace

Updated: Feb 26

After researching typical ‘people problems’ found in a number of organisations, the findings were clear: every work place has people problems and the majority of them are the same. Learning how to tackle these problems head on, will in turn lead to a happier workforce, higher productivity and increase job satisfaction.

The first people problem that was mentioned most frequently was – lack of motivation and engagement. If you have a team who are not motivated to do well and who are not engaged in their work, its ultimately going to lead to a lack of profitability in your company, regardless of size, money, number of clients. Difficult clients is usually a key factor in lack of motivation and this also creates problems for creative flow.

Second to this and not far behind in being frequently mentioned is the amount of time your staff actually have to get their jobs done, or lack of! Sales KPI’s increase, number of emails per day increase, phone calls to clients end up taking longer than expected however, the pressure to succeed created by the management is constantly behind you - expecting you to achieve more work in the same amount of time. This can lead to stress, ill mental and physical health and ultimately burn out. Before you know it, a number of people in the team are not at work and the majority are falling behind on their targets. This is when it starts to spiral out of control and become a bigger problem.

The negative attitudes of other staff members can have a detrimental effect on the whole team, which typically stems from frustration and leads to anger, sadness, lack of accountability, poor focus and making mistakes. When employee’s attitudes become negative, this is usually because they feel too regimented or they are left to their own devices with no clear goals. Employees need clearly defined procedures to allow them to take ownership of a task!

Facing a new job role/culture can also be increasingly difficult for people, due to them trying to gain the trust of a new team member, navigating their way through different communication styles or learning new systems/working with outdated ones. Change is something that is very positive however, for a lot of people it can cause problems - especially in the workplace! Not everyone accepts change or deals with it very well, which can hinder the efficiency of a team and create problems such as poor communication, disagreeable co-working or lack of direction/focus.

These ‘people problems’ can be changed by:

  • Introducing clear goals to work towards! This is human nature, it is a desire to have something to work towards and tick off once completed. Job satisfaction will increase and the work force will feel more engaged after they enter into the accountability of a clear, defined goal.

  • Having the opportunity to have a change of scenery! People are likely to commit themselves to working for 8 hours a day in the same office or at the same desk however, allowing them to move around, work outside or even introduce home working will work wonders for productivity and engagement.

  • Retaining a strong & consistent Project Manager! Team members will look up to them for guidance, organisation, planning and focus. Having this consistent member of the team to guide everyone increases the ability for the rest of the team to be creative and approach problems differently without having to worry about the finer details.

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