How to deal with a difficult employee

ANGELA .W. WANDERA By ANGELA .W. WANDERA, 25th Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Jobs>Management

A difficult employee can cripple your business operations if they are not addressed well, that is why you must have the knowledge on how to deal with difficult employees.

How to deal with a difficult employee

Having difficult employees is inevitable, people have diverse personalities which to some extent make them difficult to deal with. You must be able to appreciate the fact that every individual is unique in their own way, and sometimes it can rub off as being difficult.

A difficult employee can cripple your business operations if they are not addressed well, that is why you must have the knowledge on how to deal with difficult employees.
It may appear that some people are just born difficult, and working with them can be such a "headache".

Employees that are difficult are easy to spot out, they will be defiant, they come to work late, leave work early or will not hand in their assignments on time and will always make excuses for their mistakes.

Naturally such employees repel fellow employees, and no one will want to work with them which will be a big problem in itself. This will have an effect on the productivity levels, customers and vendors will become affected too, there will be high tempers flying around and the office will turn chaotic! That is why you must know how to deal with difficult employees in the following ways.

1. Address the issue

Rather than dodging or ignoring the problem deal with it! Most of the times a manager will ignore such a problem and hope that the employee will change with time, but this is not the case. The cause of problem may be bigger than you think, that is why getting to the bottom of the problem is advisable.

The employee is question may be of value to the company and may also possess redeeming skills and qualities that you all benefit from.

That is why it is wise to address the difficult employee and find out how to help them overcome this problem. It is advisable to to intervene when you begin to notice difficult behavior in an employee before the problem escalates.

2. Investigate the employee's behavior

As a supervisor or manager you must take on the responsibility of taking the necessary action required to deal with a difficult employee. Gather as much information as you can from fellow employees, while you observe the behavior of the employee in question before coming up with a way forward.

3. Talk to the employee

Sometimes one may not know that their behavior is offending or irritating others. Simply because those affected have a tendency to put up, with the annoying behavior without raising the issue.

Other times employees will consider their fellow employee's behavior as a job frustration and in most cases they will not speak out about the problem. Speaking openly about the behavior of the employee will help to iron out issues and come up with solutions.

Calmly address the issues with the employee and have a one on one chat with them and find out what is causing them to behave in a certain annoying manner. Ask the employee if he/she is aware of his/her behavior and how it is having a negative impact on the rest and the company.

During the discussions with the employee, you must give the employee a list of unacceptable behavior and how it is affecting other employees and the company at large.

Give the employee a chance to respond to the observations and see how they perceive their behavior. Sometimes the employee may refuse to accept the allegations, and feel that they are being misjudged. In this case you need to leave the employee to ponder on the behaviors and decide to change their behavior or continue being difficult.

5. Help the employee to change

Once the employee has realized and accepted their negative behavior, then they are ready to change. You can help the employee change their behavior by teaching more about what is acceptable behavior and all about work ethics.

The human resource department should have programs in place where they take such employees through training sessions on how to behave while at work.
The employee should be given feedback on how they are progressing, and they should also be encouraged to start behaving in a positive manner.

6. When everything else fails

If the employee fails to change their behavior, then the last thing for you to consider is to terminate them. This you can only do if the employee has refused to accept his/her annoying behavior and fails to make a step towards improving on their behavior.

There must be a protocol that is followed by the company on how to deal with a difficult employee. There must be a specific period in which the employee is expected to change or else be terminated.

An employee who values his/her job should be able to accept their behavior and work towards making a positive change if they still want to remain employed.


Dealing With, Difficult, Employee, Management, Skills, Tips

Meet the author

author avatar ANGELA .W. WANDERA
I have a passion for writing, I love to share my knowledge with others and enjoy reading and rating articles.
I mainly write articles about personal finance, business, home and garden etc.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?