When problems arise in the workplace, whether they involve procedures, equipment, workers, or unexpected events, they can cause disruptions that affect productivity and morale. While nobody can prevent all issues, there are some proactive measures you can take to responsibly manage your workplace and lessen the impact.
Be Open to Feedback
The team approach to the workplace means that everyone’s experience and contributions are valuable. In that spirit, it’s important to encourage feedback from employees and seriously consider employees’ opinions, even if they seem negative. This feedback can lead to positive changes that benefit everyone.
As a manager, you should work on creating a culture of mutual trust among workers and management, where feedback is given and received with the goal of continuous improvement. Listen without judgment, ask clarifying questions, and don’t get defensive. Take time to think before responding.
Many workplaces have inherent dangers, especially when working with equipment. Proper training is essential, but knowledge and understanding often fade with time. Periodic retraining is advisable so workers don’t become complacent in using correct procedures and handling methods.
Using signs in the workplace can prevent serious injury and death. Signs should be bright colors such as yellow and red, and words like danger or caution should be in large print. Graphics are also helpful reminders. Place signs in conspicuous places and make sure they don’t get covered or obscured by other objects.
Be Honest with Bad News
Managers are often privy to negative information affecting the workplace. While some of this may need to remain confidential for a time, in other cases you will need to deliver the news to employees. In doing this, honesty and openness are the best approaches. Giving partial information or trying to make light of a bad situation will only cause suspicion and anxiety.
In delivering bad news, do it with empathy and understanding. Stick to the facts and avoid any criticism of the company or its employees. Be ready to inform workers of the next steps and how their jobs may be affected. Finally, invite questions or let employees know where to find additional information.
A responsible manager understands that the workplace will not always run smoothly, and there are problems and even dangers that workers must deal with. To prepare for these eventualities, you can work to foster a sense of safety and teamwork.
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