1. What are the main things to consider when handling staff problems in an organisation?

  2. In determining the origin of a problem in an organisation what are the steps to follow?


This is a very broad question, with very little information for me to handle it professionally. It would be helpful to me when people submit queries if they can give me a little bit of background. I don’t need a huge amount, I appreciate most people want to protect their confidentiality and anonymity, but some context will help me answer your query.

For example, the answer to this question will be very different in these two situations; –

The organisation is a multinational conglomerate, very profitable, has offices around the world, and a professional HR department. There is an employment handbook, contracts, policies and procedures in place that are clearly accessible to anyone. The reader is a director, or a senior member of the HR department

The reader works in a roadside kiosk selling newspapers, cigarettes etc, and there are only 3 employees covering different shifts

Do you see my problem?

So, in dealing with a staff problem, the main things to consider are that you act within the law, and within stipulated company policies. In many countries there is employment law which states how such situations must be handled. We have readers in every country in the world, I don’t know what the situation is in every region. You should acquaint yourself with the pertinent laws and policies.

To address your first question, someone needs to talk to whoever is causing the problem, and give them feedback about their behaviour and its potential repercussions.

You should behave calmly and professionally at all times. Probably a good idea to have a colleague with you to bear witness, and maybe offer the staff member the same courtesy.

You may find this module useful

Dismissing an employee

Not that I am advocating dismissal, but the module discuses avoiding dismissal, disciplinary processes and other related matters such as performance management meetings.

I would always attempt to resolve problems by informal meetings, only escalating to a more formal process if you can’t come to a resolution informally. Be very careful to investigate allegations made by or against an employee independently before taking any action.

Regarding your second question, “determining the origin of a problem in an organisation”, again I need some context. But I would suggest that communication is the best tool you can use here. Go and talk to people, and ask questions, so you can get an understanding of the background. Then you will be able to draw your own conclusions.

From there you will have to use your initiative according to the nature of the problem. Remember that you can search the site for relevant information.

Use the lesson button on the top navigation bar to find the section that is likely to be most appropriate. In this instance I suggest it would be “managing people”. Scroll down to see the topic covered and click on the lesson you want to open. Once you have a lesson open you can also use the search bar to input relevant search terms.