Workplace issues

How to Deal with Delicate Workplace Issues?

In your workplace, you come across different people. While some are extremely dedicated, others might slack a little. There are chances that you might have a colleague who doesn’t respect employee rules, is hardly ever on time, and takes many leaves. He/she might even take undue advantage of their Sick Leave Entitlement and abuses the facilities under it. He/she also doesn’t come on time and state unacceptable reasons for it and is careless about deadlines and schedules.

As a team, it is your responsibility to communicate with your team members and to inform your seniors about the situation. Whether you’re not feeling well or are stuck in an emergency, there is a particular protocol that needs to be followed. In many cases, senior officials might be aware of these problems and may not talk about them to avoid conflict. When an employee doesn’t take any responsibility, it might be a tricky situation to handle. Read on to find out how you can deal with this kind of situation and what should be your next step.

What can you do to deal with delicate workplace issues?

This is such a deadlock situation, and handling such delicate workplace issues can be a cumbersome task. Here’s what you can do to deal with delicate workplace issues.

If you’re someone who has noticed this happening often in your office and even then nothing has changed, first and foremost, a huge appreciation for your patience and tolerance. Follow these tips, and hope you find them helpful.

  • Sick Leave Entitlement in India: Sick leave provides pay to employees when they are out of work due to illness. Most of the time, the quantum of these leaves is fixed by a particular organization or company. Sick leaves accumulated in a year can be carried forward and availed in the next year.

    You might want to know how many sick days per year is an employee allowed? Employees are entitled to up to three sick leave days per year once they have worked for the employer for at least two consecutive weeks.
  • What your seniors and manager can do?: It is possible that the manager overlooks your coworker’s behaviour or considers it acceptable. A few questions need to be raised here –
    What do you really want for the long term?

    You need to chalk out a long-term plan for yourself, your team, and your coworker. Say, for example, you need to assess whether this situation will get better in the coming year, and your coworker will learn to be responsible. Will these issues that your coworker creates go away or diminish?
  • Do you agree with your seniors?: The problems that you’re facing might or might not be within the scope of senior officials. Also, ask yourself whether the legal risks of confronting this problem will outweigh the cost?

    Would your boss like you and your boss to replace the coworker while he/she is on leave?

    Your boss might want you and your team to backfill for your coworker. Discuss whether it is possible or you need to talk to your boss about an alternative solution. Hiring a temporary employee can be one solution; assigning the work to a freelancer can be another option, or if your team needs short-term help, you can document the need and talk to your boss about it.

    Reflect on these questions and discuss them with the team. This would give you all a better perspective on how to handle this delicate situation in the most appropriate way.
  • Stay calm and maintain your cool: If an employee faces such a situation at the workplace, it is natural that he/she will get frustrated. But the one thing that you need to always keep in mind is that you might not have your leader’s support. They might want you to take a step forward and talk to the senior management to avoid conflict or any breach of sick leave entitlement.

    It is best that you focus on your work and avoid getting into any trouble. Try and avoid this behavior and overlook your colleague’s behavior as well. You don’t want to add added stress to your professional life. The more you talk about your coworker and this problem, the more your seniors and boss may see you as someone who always cribs and cannot adjust to a professional environment.

    The idea is to not be persistent but put your point in a balanced way. Let your boss know what’s happening and your coworker’s behavior, but do it in a modest way so that they can share an honest perspective. If you have decided to make peace with the situation for at least a couple of months, how will you get away with the frustration and anxiety? Don’t show any resentment towards your boss or your coworker. It won’t help you in any way but will only show your vulnerable side to them.

    Here are a few ideas that you could use. First and foremost, try to identify and empathize with your coworker’s situation. Look at the positive side and see what they do good. For example – even if he/she violates certain rules and takes the sick leave for granted, at least your coworker is making an effort to stay employed and is putting hard work when he/she is present. Secondly, tell yourself that this is a temporary problem. When you’ll look back a couple of years from now, it won’t even matter an ounce. Thirdly, focus on being a better version of yourself. We’re all struggling to achieve something or the other. The best way to handle this situation is to become a role model for others. Put your best foot forward, and let your hard work speak volumes. This way, you’ll be an epitome of not just patience but also perseverance.

How to handle such coworkers?

You can talk to your colleague about this situation and try to get his/her side of the story. The aim is to change your coworker’s short-term actions, but doing it in an unpretentious manner. Take adequate steps to ensure that he/she becomes an asset to your team.

  • Motivation: If you address the problem as a matter of motivation, there are chances that your coworker might feel penalized by the team. This would just violate the entire purpose of taking sick leaves and create a distance between him/her and the entire team. Discuss with your team how you all can make the person feel valued. Make him/her feel that the team stands like a support system.
  • Ability: If you address the problem as a matter of ability, it is important that you and the entire team discuss that can you backfill your coworker? Are there any ways in which you can update him/her about all the missing information, or can your boss provide that coworker with an assistant to make sure he/she isn’t left behind.

Hope these suggestions help you and your team to handle delicate situations at work and make your professional life easy. Implement these tips, and you’ll surely be able to find a solution to this deadlock situation. Go slow, be patient, understanding, and empathetic.

Credits – This blog is an adaptation of our international partner blog


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