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Switch to What Does a Difficult Employee Look Like? Dealing with Difficult Employees: A Practical Guide Solutions for Dealing with Difficult Employees Dealing with Difficult Employees is an Important Skill Dealing with difficult employees can be a headache. It’s a problem many managers dread, but at some point you’ll inevitably have to deal with a difficult employee. Problematic employee behavior saps your energy, hurts your team’s morale, and destroys productivity. Therefore, managers must know how to deal with difficult employees quickly and effectively. Let’s take a look at what a difficult employee looks like and some proven strategies and solutions to deal with them. What does a difficult employee look like? In 2019, 79% of employees said they felt disengaged at work. Engaged employees often exhibit challenging behaviors as a result of their frustration. Difficult employees are bad news for business owners. They can create a toxic work environment and lead to higher turnover, lower productivity and poor customer relationships. Below are three examples of what a difficult employee can look like at work. Scenario 1: Lack of expectations. Employee does not fulfill his responsibilities Poor performance at work can be due to a lack of skills or motivation, or both. It can also be the result of poor communication, incorrect information, lack of resources, or something else entirely. If an employee doesn’t perform well in their role, don’t write them off as lazy. There may be a hidden reason behind their inability and lack of motivation. Perhaps their work no longer challenges them. They may care about more influence and are frustrated by a lack of investment from others. They may feel constrained by policies and processes that do not improve the bottom line. In addition, they may lack certain skills necessary to perform their duties. They may also feel that there is no opportunity for career growth and development. On the other hand, lack of motivation may have nothing to do with their work. They may have problems with their health or personal life that make it difficult for them to concentrate and be effective in their tasks. Scenario 2: Employee misbehaves. Difficult behavior by an employee can affect your entire team. When a problem employee has a negative attitude, a toxic environment is created. Often, but not always, a bad attitude at work is passive rather than direct confrontation. Maybe it’s a not-so-subtle smile or eye roll, lateness and inattention at meetings. Maybe it’s gossip at work or about colleagues. Or perhaps it’s less conscious: a hard-working employee who has become cynical and always sees the negative in every interaction or suggestion. A bad attitude may be funny at first, but eventually it affects everyone. A bad attitude and negative behavior destroys an entire team and affects an employee’s performance. But that’s not all. If they also treat customers or suppliers badly, they put your business and reputation at risk. Scenario 3: An Employee Undermines Your Authority When an employee undermines your authority, it hurts employee morale and productivity. It can also make other employees question your leadership abilities. But not all employees who undermine authority do so with bad intentions. Sometimes employees undermine leaders because they have a perspective that managers don’t see. They may be so caught up in their perspective that they fail to see how their communication style undermines others. In other cases, an employee’s disruptive behavior may be a deliberate attempt to amuse you. As a leader, knowing how to distinguish between the two will help you solve the problem effectively. Subscribe to receive the latest news, articles and research from. * Email Address: Subscribe Now Subscribe Thank you for your interest. Dealing with Difficult Employees: A Practical Guide If you are dealing with difficult employees, following these steps can help you resolve the situation. 1. Criticize behavior, not people. When dealing with a problem employee, it is important to focus on specific behaviors rather than personal factors. Your role is not to judge them. Not only can this lead to unproductive conflict, but it is unlikely to resolve the behavior. The goal is to find a way to stop your colleague’s unacceptable behavior and to help correct the behavior that is making it unduly difficult for him. Your role is to support them and find solutions. People are not always aware of how their behavior affects work and the environment. Start by getting their attention in a non-confrontational way. Show good intentions whenever possible. Remember that not all difficult employees intend to be difficult. Then give them specific examples of their negative behavior to help them understand the problem. 2. Determine the causes of the problem. The reasons for an employee’s behavior are unique to each person. Therefore, before solving the problem, it is necessary to discover the causes. This can be related to: Their working relationship with other colleagues. Personal problems that prevent them from doing their job properly. As a manager, it is your responsibility to get to the root cause of the problem and solve it. 3. Be open to feedback. Problem behaviors can be the result of an employee’s perceptions and experiences in their work environment. Managers should be open to feedback. It could be about management style or any other issues your employee has with the organization. Create a safe space where your colleague can express their opinion. Use active listening to make sure you understand what they are saying. Hear your employees’ side of the story without bias. Sometimes a difficult person just needs someone to listen and understand them. This often helps to change their attitudes and behavior. (Image source) 4. Give clear instructions As a leader, it is important to give clear instructions in order to be effective. In a conflict situation, you have two main goals: to get your colleague to lower his defenses. Convey the necessary information to improve their behavior. To achieve this, you must provide clear and detailed feedback about the employee’s behavior, including specific examples. 5. Write expectations and specific consequences on Document all expectations and behavior changes with your colleague. Develop a plan with goals, timelines and regular progress reviews. That way you’re both on the same page. It is also important to document any consequences if you do not make the necessary behavioral changes. In most cases, a person will take the matter more seriously if he has a clear plan and is aware of the consequences of inaction. 6. Track Progress Once you’ve created an action plan for your employee, the next step is to track their progress. This helps them to achieve their goals within the stipulated time. Ways to monitor progress include: Feedback from other employees Assessing the quality of their work. At the end of the agreed period, use the reports to evaluate their success. 7. Plan Ahead An adequate and rigorous selection process can help prevent problems with difficult employees. New candidates must be screened. Hiring managers should examine the candidate’s previous job behavior and reasons for leaving. Behavioral interviews can help interviewers spot red flags that may lead to challenging behavior later on. 8. Keep calm and show respect Giving negative feedback or firing someone is never easy. Tensions rise and people often get upset. As a leader, it is important to remain calm and avoid judgment or criticism. Keep your body language and tone neutral. Focus on the facts and maintain an honest, professional and respectful attitude. Sometimes people struggle because they feel undervalued. You need to understand the reasons for their behavior before taking drastic measures. Solutions for Dealing with a Difficult Employee Use these four solutions to find the best outcome for the difficult employee and the organization. 1. Talk to Human Resources. Managing really difficult employees is an interpersonal challenge. So, it’s best to let HR know when you encounter a difficult situation with an employee. This has two advantages. First, if HR is aware of the problem, they can implement company policies to address such situations. Second, they are professionals who specialize in managing people. This means they can advise you on how to handle a difficult conversation with your colleague. 2. Consider Your Role in the Problem If a difficult employee undermines your credibility, ask yourself the following questions. They help you determine the intent behind your employee’s behavior: Am I aware of my teammate’s workload? Does the employee have a perspective that I’m not seeing? Does the employee make valid points?
How To Deal With Poor Employee Performance
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