How focusing on the end result can resolve your employee problems

Jun 27, 2012 | Good Management

Are you struggling to see the wood for the trees with a difficult employee situation you are facing? How much serious thought have you given to the end result you need?

Here’s why it’s essential to decide on your ideal end result, how to get there and what to do when you’ve found it.

Why do I need an end result in mind?

I spend a large portion of my working time advising clients on difficult situations they are facing with members of staff and one of the first things I always ask them is what end result they are looking for from the situation. I then discuss with them what options are available to them for getting there.

It’s easy when bogged down in a staff nightmare to find it difficult to see a way out, and taking a step back and thinking about end result helps focus decision making and gives clients a path towards an end to the situation which is always very positive.

How do I work out what the end result is?

Actually deciding what the desired end result is isn’t necessarily that easy. I was talking to my sister-in-law recently about a personal situation I’m dealing with at the moment and she made the very good point that when change has to happen anyway, rather than muddle through and try to replicate the status quo as far as possible, instead start with a blank sheet of paper and work out exactly what is best, then work towards that.

The same applies in a business when you have a staffing challenge. When things are changing anyway, or must change, rather than automatically trying to minimise change, or try to replicate what you had, start instead with blank sheet of paper. What do you actually need? The needs of the business have probably changed, and will continue to do so. Make sure your organisation is fit for now and the future.

Sometimes this exercise may involve considering options which you may consider unpalatable or even scary. Drastic decisions of any kind with staffing will necessarily have an impact on your team and it may not be a positive one, and may even result in a loss of their job for some.

It’s ok to not feel good about having those thoughts, or to want to avoid those situations where possible, and it’s good to be a responsible business owner who cares about their staff. But ultimately you have to at least consider what scenario is right for your business. You may decide not to go ahead with any plans that would impact on staff too negatively, but by considering all options and looking at your business with a blank sheet of paper, you will be going into your decision-making with eyes wide open.

I’ve got my end result. How do I find out how to get there?

Once you’ve thought about those things you will have some idea of what end result you are ultimately working towards, and can discuss with your HR consultant ways of getting there. If he is she is worth their salt, they will be able to outline your options and help you identify costs (financial and otherwise), risks and possible developments. It may be that you decide to aim for a compromised end result, or a half-way house with a final end result in mind later on down the track, or feel that the risks or costs involved in getting the ideal end result right now are not viable for you.

But if you start with a blank sheet of paper, even if you end up not going with the radical solutions, it will be a useful exercise for later on and will help clarify your way forward with the more immediate situation you need to deal with.

Key points:

  • When dealing with any staff challenge, whether you are taking advice on it or not, you need to identify what end result you need from the actions you will need to take.
  • This will guide decision making, give you focus and a path to follow, and will give you that all-important sense that you are doing something about your problem.
  • Rather than thinking the end result must be to avoid change where possible, instead start from scratch and think about what your business really needs in an ideal world.
  • Take advice on how best to achieve your final- ideal world’ end result, so you are fully aware of the costs, benefits and implications.
  • Whether you go for a softly-softly, compromise approach or a more drastic exercise, keeping the ultimate aim in mind will help clarify your decision-making along the way.

If you need help with a employee problem in your business, aren’t sure about end-result options or how to achieve the right outcome, contact us at [email protected].