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How to Deal with a Difficult Employee

difficult_peopleEveryone knows who they are; those people who make your work environment hostile.  These people are irritating, disrespectful employees who show up late, leave early, don’t do the work on time (or not at all) and have excuses for everything.  You can’t do anything right with them.  It’s frustrating enough that co-workers and customers are knocking on your door to deal with the person.  You are busy running day-to-day management duties.  It’s one thing managers must be prepared to handle: How to deal with a Difficult employee.

Never ignore the issue.  It’s not going away because you hide in the office or ignore the warning signs.  As upper management you are responsible for controlling this situation.  All this is going to do is escalate the problem.  Instead…

Intervene.  Get involved as soon as possible.  It’s easier to handle the problem.  Don’t wait until it gets out of hand; the employee’s attitude will settle (assuming there’s no consequence for their actions).

Personally research the problem by asking the difficult worker to meet them in the office.  This gets the problem away from others and contained into one space–the office.  Calmly address the issue (this calms the difficult worker down because there’s no reason to yell).  Have a conversation with the employee about unacceptable behavior.  Give examples of the unacceptable behavior caused on the job.  Allow him to respond, and go from there.  Determine if the difficult worker is really difficult or if everyone else is making his life hard.

Try to get the employee back on the right path.  If the employee is understanding the situation it’s time to change the employee’s attitude into a positive one.  It takes time to bring the employee back on the right path but if both of you can work this out together it will be best for business.

Sometimes employees are not going to get it.  In this case this toxic environment the person brings cannot be tolerated any longer.  If all else fails you will have no choice but to terminate the employee.  Go through the process of gathering proof to terminate the employee, fill out paperwork, the trial period and finally official termination.

We are not made to get along with everyone.  We are naturally different so our opinions, attitudes, and actions are going to clash with these people.  When co-workers clash it becomes problematic, frustrating, decreases work production and morale.  You must handle this situation before it becomes out of your control. Contact us for more information.


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