How to Deal With Difficult Employees
Contributed by Freelancer — Jackie Edwards
It has always been the role of the manager to deal with uncooperative and difficult employees in order to solve any issues which are affecting the overall organization. One difficult employee can ruin the working environment creating a host of negative effects. There are many reasons as to why employees can be difficult and as a manager, it’s always important to approach your workers positively to identify the issues that they might be going through. Employee productivity, morale and customer service levels are highest when employees are working effectively as a team and are following the set rules and regulations of the organization.
When an employee causes disruption
An employee can display disruptive behavior in several ways. It’s the responsibility of the manager to follow the steps outlined below to solve the issues amicably.
Most managers tend to turn a blind eye to the problem and bury their heads in the sand assuming that the problem will go away. This may be due to a dislike of confrontation but allowing difficult employee to go on a rampage will only worsen the situation. This air of dissent affects not only the employee but all that are around it. An issue involving an awkward member of staff should be nipped in the bud as soon as the manager senses that something is amiss to avoid unnecessary issues in the future.
Once you have observed and evaluated the issue, you then come up with a plan on whether to coach, counsel, train or discipline the rogue employee. Not all problems require punishment. The issue could be deeper and the disruptive employee might be having some personal issues that require attention. Think carefully about the decision that you’ll make as it will pay great dividends when handled properly.
Focus on the behavior and not the individual
Since your aim is to resolve the situation, it’s important to focus on the behavior and not the individual. Do not attack the individual while assuming that the disruptive behavior is because of a negative intention. Come up with a solution together with the affected employee that will benefit all parties involved.
Plan a follow-up
Once you’ve come up with a solution together, you ought to follow-up to observe if the behavior changes. Learn how to exercise patience and do not expect instant results as change is often slow but sure. Always aim for small wins that will eventually lead to a changed behavior that will benefit the entire organization.
Dealing with difficult and disruptive employees is never fun and can be a daunting task. However, it is your responsibility as the leader of the organization to see to it that the problem is resolved in the appropriate way. Approach these issues in a timely manner to ensure that you succeed.