Walking past the difficult people in the grocery store or your neighborhood may not make much difference to you. However, if you have a difficult employee in your office, then you are definitely going to have some trouble on your hands.
You, being the higher authority, have command over all the subordinates. You are actually responsible for every person working under you – good or bad, it is your duty to manage them. Therefore, it is essential for you to have a tight leash on each and every subordinate under you, no matter how troublesome he or she may be.
How To Deal With Difficult Employees
Here are some ways to deal with difficult employees:
Face The Problem Instead Of Ignoring It
As irritating as it may sound, you need to address the problem with the employee as soon as you hear about it. Ignoring the problem is only going to worsen the situation. It may also disturb the working environment of the office. Solve the problem before it gives a bad impression of your company in front of clients.
Research Personally Rather Than Believing The Rumors
Every working place has its own rumor factory! There is at least one employee in the office that may participate in spreading the rumors about a certain someone. If you also get to hear disturbing news linked to the difficult employee, do not just believe it. Start researching and find out what the real matter is before you talk to that employee. Gather true facts and figures, and only then discuss the problem with him or her.
Handle The Problem In A Professional Manner
Do not forget that you have several other employees who look up to you. It is important not to create a scene in front of the entire office. Discussing the issues in the presence of others may make the employee either too ashamed or too angry. Act professionally, and try to address the problem in a private place. Sit down with the employee and see what he has to say about it, rather than insulting him in front of others.
Avoid Taking The Issue Personally
Addressing the employee with sentences like ‘you did this’ or ‘you are wrong’ is not right. It may irritate him and make him feel that you are targeting him. Keep in mind that your aim is to calmly talk things out and not to ridicule the employee or his actions. While there are people who just do not get the point no matter how much you make them understand, there are still others who may change their behavior if you talk in a polite manner.
Put Yourself In His Shoes
Almost every person is fighting a battle in his/her life with one thing or another. Do not just directly jump to conclusion about the employee’s behavior. Instead, try to be on the same level as your employee and look at things from his perspective. Maybe there is something that is troubling him due to which he’s acting that way. Help out the employee by staying within your professional limits. Do not forget that you’ve also seen days like that before.
Coach The Troublesome Employee To Get Him Back On Track
Most of the time, the difficult employees know what people think about them. If you think that the employee has the potential to continue working in the office but needs a little improvement, help him as a mentor to improve his skills. You or anyone from the HR department can help the employee to learn more about the more appropriate and suitable behavior in the workplace. Give positive feedback if you feel that the employee is trying hard to change his behavior.
Termination Can be The Last Resort
If all your efforts fail, you know you have termination as the last option. Workplace is not the place to show continuous tolerance to inappropriate behavior. Even after several warnings and coaching sessions, if the employee shows no sign of improvement, you can ask him to resign or just fire him. You have a company protocol to follow and, if the difficult employee is not addressing his questionable behavior, then you have all the reasons to go ahead with this option.
This post was originally published on an earlier date.
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