Every organization has its own specific challenges. However, there are few common challenges which can found across all the companies.
If you find yourself amid overwhelming challenges, then you are not alone. Taking time to understand the root causes and addressing them in an effective manner is what differentiates companies with great workplace culture from the rest.
In this article we are discussing top 5 workplace challenges across the globe, their warning signs and how do you handle them effectively.
Leadership has a key role in setting the tone and building a great workplace culture. Most of below given challenges can be directly or in-directly linked to poor leadership skills.
Let’s dive-in and investigate the biggest challenges at work.
5 Most common problems in the workplace and solutions
- Poor Performance
- Time management
- Toxic workplace culture
- Dealing with difficult co-worker
- Ineffective learning and development programs
1. Poor Performance
Do you find employees not completing the tasks to the required standard? Employee is regularly absent from the workplace? Drop in productivity and engagement levels? These are some of the signs that you have a poor performance case at hand.
Poor performance if left unattended or not addressed effectively can impact the productivity, reduce the quality of work, and decrease the moral at the workplace.
In short and long term, poor performance can have lasting impact on the work culture and ultimately badly impacting the bottom line of any company.
Managing poorly performing employees is one of the most common workplace challenges.
Solution: Would a training help? Should we move John to a different role? Avoid implementing quick fix solutions to address poor performance.
To address it effectively, you need to get to the root cause of the problem, is it a skill issue or a will issue? Afterwards tailor the performance improvement plan specifically addressing the issue.
As a leader you need to set clear goals and mentor the employees with right approach.
2. Time management
Project creep, missing out on deadlines, never ending to-do lists are signs of time management problem. Time is the most important commodity and not managing it well can have major impact on well-being and job performance.
A good time management can help us maximize our productivity, energy, and career success. With lack of time management, one can find himself stressed out, low motivation, procrastinating on your goals etc.
Solution: With right amount of commitment and discipline, one can overcome time management challenge. One can start with keeping track of activities where most of the time is currently going and what percentage of the total time is spent on productive activities.
You can track the activities, like spending too much time on social media, which are taking lots of time but at the end of the day not helping you to be productive. Commit to cut down your time on such activities. With consistent effort, you can finally come up with a schedule which works just perfect for you.
3. Toxic workplace culture
Broken relationships, high stress, blaming others, absenteeism, lack of open communication, lack of trust, unable to work with each other, low morality, challenging the authority are some of warning signs of toxic work culture.
A toxic environment at work can take a toll not only on the bottom line of a business but can also impact physical and mental health of employees.
Poor leadership skills, lack of clarity about core values, micromanagement, abusive bosses are some of the reasons which results into toxic work environment.
Destructive behavior from the top spreads very fast across the company. People in the organization can assume this kind of behavior is accepted and encouraged in the company, and soon become part of day to day, resulting into a toxic workplace culture.
Solution: Coping up with toxic culture can take time and lots of effort. Management has a huge role to play in addressing it. Acknowledging the problem and finding the root cause is a good starting point.
Spreading awareness across all employees about their rights is very important. Employees aware about their rights can push back against unreasonable behavior of managers.
Next, management should work on training executives on leadership skills. Right people with right skills at top position can set examples of acceptable behavior and other people in the organization will follow the suite.
Leaders should work towards making team members feel safe and comfortable. With persistent effort and management support it is possible to overcome toxic culture.
4. Dealing with difficult co-workers
Coming across at least one employee which is difficult to deal is an inevitable part of any manager’s job. There is always going to be at least one employee who is not performing well or finds difficult to get along with others or challenges your authority with not so right intentions.
Employees with negative attitude, passively expressing their aggressive behavior can drain down the energy, take disproportionate amount of your time, lower team’s moral and eventually negatively impact the productivity.
Difficult employees not only create a bad workplace culture, but they can also impact relationship with customers.
Solution: You can deal with a difficult employee by first listening to him to understand where he is coming from. Is he behaving like that due to some frustration at the workplace or is it just a bad attitude problem?
Make sure that you are giving the person a fair chance to express openly and comfortably. Unless you have full trust of the person, it is very difficult to address the issue.
Remember that it is the behavior which you are trying to correct, and you have nothing against the person as an individual.
Once you have identified the real cause of the problem then you can deploy appropriate tactics to address it.
Ensure you are clear in setting expectations in terms of non-verbal behaviors, as well as performance. Document the points discussed and the outcomes agreed upon. Set clear consequences beforehand if the set outcomes are not achieved.
Be consistent and follow through after the discussion to ensure things are moving in the right direction.
Being at a leadership position, you need to be clear with company policies and procedures to deal with such behaviors appropriately.
5. Ineffective learning and development programs
70% of employees reported that they don’t have mastery of the skills required to do their job effectively.
Only 12% of learners accepted that they apply skills developed through the training received at their company.
Does above points justify USD 357 billions companies, across the globe, spent on learning and development? Can we imagine the total business loss due to ineffective learning solutions?
Above stats clearly point towards poorly developed training and development programs across most of the companies. It can be the result of poorly understanding the training needs of the learners or ineffective training solutions or both.
Lack of training or poorly designed training solutions impacts the productivity, results into high turnover, low quality work and poor customer service. These issues directly impact the bottom line, as well as the brand value of the company.
Solution: Clear understanding of company objectives and mapping skills required to achieve those goals is the first step. Once we understand the skills required to achieve the goals, we need to clearly understand current skills level and the gap we need to cover through various strategies.
Identified skills gap can be covered via either hiring or by deploying learning and development solutions.
We need to ensure learning solutions are agile and engaging. Training solutions should be designed to address specific skills gap and as per today’s needs.
Training solutions should be designed to engage the learner and not just inform. This can save lots of time and money in retraining the employees. Immersive training solutions increase productivity and job satisfaction.
These are some of the most common workplace challenges companies come across. Addressing them effectively should not be considered as an option today but it should be handled with right strategy in a timely manner.
With fast evolving technology and business landscape, it is mandatory that leaders make it their one of top priority to investigate top workplace challenges their company is facing and deploy effective solutions to address them.
HRComplianceInfo provides agile and effective solutions for various needs of our clients. Contact us today to discuss your needs and we will be happy to offer relevant solutions as per your needs.