Water Well Journal

August 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/543740

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Page 7 of 71

Editor's NOTE T he sentence would slice through any manager who heard it. "The way I'm being treated by a coworker right now reminds me of a relationship I was in years ago—one that was verbally abusive." Wow. No one deserves that in their workplace. Sadly, I know the person who told a manager that phrase. Chances are, though, you may have a coworker who has shared a similar sentiment. Just consider the following: • More than 65% of performance problems on the job stem from a strained rela- tionship between employees. • Managers spend 30% to 43% of their time mediating disagreements between employees. • A total of 44% of managers spend more than 20% of their time working through conflict-related issues. The numbers come from Penn Behavioral Health Corporate Services, a nation- ally recognized firm providing services to employers and employees. The data should be trusted. The fact is coworkers are going to have differences of opinion on occasion. Coworkers are going to get mad at each other. Coworkers are going to be stressed and say things they regret. It can, never, though, cross the line and become abuse. When it does, the entire company loses. Negativity is more contagious than any flu bug. When it works its way through a staff, impacted are performance, morale, and safety. Can your business afford to have those falter? The negativity can eventually take out employees. The impacted worker feeling abused often leaves, and when that person walks out the door, with them goes their experience, expertise, and industry knowledge. Penn states that the cost to replace an employee is 1.5 times the position salary. Again, can you afford that? The key is to never let it get that far. And to do that you must be involved early. Look for warning signs—arguments, changes in the emotions of employees, com- plaints—as they can indicate an employee under pressure. Sometimes the root of the pressure is something at home; at other times the employee could be struggling to learn something new on the job and need training. On occasion, though, it can be an issue with a coworker who has crossed the line. When this happens, meet with the employee and let them know you want to re- solve the situation. A face-to-face meeting with the worker and coworker is the next step. Brainstorm for solutions with both people and state why you want things to turn around—for the well-being of the company. Most importantly, when you see things improve: say it. The person I know and the employee the issue was with were invited to dinner by their boss when heads began to cool. The meal meant so much to everyone. The laughs over dinner were a long way from the chilling words that began everything. Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at tplumley@ngwa.org and on Twitter @WaterWellJournl. WHEN DISAGREEMENTS GO TOO FAR The Water Well Journal (ISSN #0043-1443) is published monthly by the National Ground Water Association, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Printed and mailed at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and additional mailing offices. Postal acceptance: Periodical (requester subscription circulation) postage paid at Westerville, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Water Well Journal, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Canada Post/ Publications Mail Agreement #40739533. Return address: 4960-2 Walker Rd., Windsor, ON N9A 6J3. Advancing the expertise of groundwater professionals and furthering groundwater awareness. Chief Executive Officer Kevin McCray, CAE kmccray@ngwa.org NGWA President Richard Thron, MGWC Director of Information Products/Editor Thad Plumley tplumley@ngwa.org Water Well Journal Editorial Review Board Art Becker, MGWC, CPG; Tom Christopherson; Dan Milan; Roger Renner, MGWC; John Schnieders, Ph.D., and Robert Sterrett, Ph.D. Senior Editor Mike Price mprice@ngwa.org Copyeditor Wayne Beatty wbeatty@ngwa.org Production and Design Janelle McClary jmcclary@ngwa.org Advertising Wanda Bloch wbloch@ngwa.org Vickie Crosby vcrosby@ngwa.org Shelby Fleck sfleck@ngwa.org Circulation Coordinator Carol Clark cclark@ngwa.org Contributing Writers Ed Butts, PE, CPI; Donald W. Gregory; William J. Lynott; Julie Hansen; Christine Reimer; Al Rickard, CAE; Ron Slee; Lana Straub; Jennifer Strawn; and Alexandra Walsh Editorial, Advertising, & Publishing Offices 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081 (800) 551-7379 Fax: (614) 898-7786 Selected content from Water Well Journal is indexed on Ground Water On-Line™ at www.NGWA.org/gwonline © Copyright 2015 by the National Ground Water Association. All rights reserved. An APEX award winner 13 consecutive years with 27 total awards, most in the groundwater industry. waterwelljournal.com August 2015 WWJ 6

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