We all come across certain instances in our professional career that may be a difficult situation to manage. Your initial reaction may be to be lash out or act based on your emotions. But this is probably the worst thing you could do in the case.
I’ve seen this play out from both sides, one where I was the employee with an issue with senior management and also as a manager dealing with one of my team’s issues. So I wanted to share my tips on how best to address these difficult situations.
REVIEW THE SITUATION
First things first, stop and review the situation and take a step back to see the bigger picture. Do you have a full understanding of everything, have you taken into consideration all various factors? It’s at this point, you should really have a think about all outcomes of what your actions could be. You need to be prepared for what may happen as a result of how you address the problem.
For example, will there be an investigation? If so, have you prepared any evidence to support your case? Things like jotting down specific dates, meetings and email chains will help strengthen your side in the matter.
I’ve seen other colleagues go through this due to an issue they raised with senior management. But unfortunately to no avail due to lack of supporting evidence on their side. So for the best possible outcome take this time to really think everything through and fight the temptation to rush into anything.
KNOW YOUR WORK RIGHTS
It’s important to ensure you are aware of your rights as an employee within any organisation. Your first go to, should be your employee handbook and contract. This should have been given to you on your first day and will list out all important information including details of what the process and procedures are for raising formal complaints or grievances.
But before you go running to HR, have you actually thought about speaking to your line manager? If this is a possibility (i.e if it’s not with your line manager that you have an issue with!) then I would suggest you firstly start here. 9 times out of 10 your line manager should be able to help you resolve a difficult situation. So don’t forget that they should still be one of your first options.
All companies need to have a solid HR process in place to ensure their employees have a forum to voice their concerns, issues and problems. But as employees, it’s also our responsibility to ensure we follow the appropriate guidelines.
LEAN ON YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
As well as my earlier advice to speak with your line manager, don’t forget to make the most of those you can rely on. Colleagues, people in your team and more importantly your friends.
It’s important to talk about the issues that are affecting you to someone not connected with the situation. Speaking with someone who is impartial is useful as they may be able to offer up advice that you may not have thought of before.
Speaking with colleagues and team mates is also a good way to deal with things. I’m not saying you should be moaning or bitching about things, as this may actually work against you. But being able to speak with those that can relate, might make you feel a bit better about the things and ensure you don’t feel alone.
ADDRESS THE SITUATION
Once you’ve gone through all of these steps and made the decision to make a formal complaint, then be clear from the outset what you want to achieve. Follow the steps as outlined by your company’s HR procedures and trust in the system they have in place to ensure the best for their employee’s wellbeing.
Be prepared for any outcome. Unfortunately, you may not get the result you want, which is why you should prepare for things not to get resolved in the way you want.
Ultimately you should also remember that it isn’t the end of the world. Work is work. And there will always be opportunities in other companies. I’ve worked in roles where I had no other option but to leave, but it was probably the best choice I ever made! So don’t forget that you always have other options.
I hope these tips have been helpful for you. Have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation at work? How did you deal with it?
Image via – Kaboompics