(2) Immediately criticize suggestions or opinions. A real change needs to be made to their work, their work environment, and their emotional state. guide to managing difficult employees. my topic is ‘difficult colleagues’ – ubiquitous, right?! as outlined by the leadership team. Involve employees in the change process. A healthy, productive culture is the key to keeping employees engaged and excited about their work. Depending Don’t expect the problem to resolve itself. contribute to the organization’s success. Keep in mind that reacting to every worker complaint may actually heighten the drama and make the situation worse. ... “A manager … Instead, the 20 Expert Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People Believe it or not, you can stay calm, defuse conflict, and keep your dignity. in turmoil, and they may not realize that it’s apparent at work. Learn and practice the art and process of delivering effective, constructive feedback and feed-forward. If an employee needs assistance to get their personal life in order, provide them with any resources your company may have, such as an employee assistance program. But these folks have a … This article examines the role that the HR (Human Resource) Manager has in cases of handling difficult employees and employees who violate organizational norms. team to productivity. you’re encountering a similar situation, these strategies should offer a path We may even ask others to deal with the employee rather than face the issue ourselves. You might be able to adjust their job responsibilities to leverage their strengths. No support from boss – If you’re the boss, ensure that you communicate with your team members on a regular basis and ensure that you’re approachable to them when they need to talk. Try not to interrupt. If The best way to deal with employees like this is to offer them support. … Its right that you as a boss no become a best friend, but in my experience I found that as a boss you need to know very well your team. and implemented a tailored plan. “Observe your boss for a few days and try to notice how many things she does well versus poorly. Managing a defiant employee isn’t easy. And while additional discretionary effort is encouraged To get the best from them, try three tactics. interacting with that difficult employee, could leave. business owner, manager or HR leader, you need to be an expert at dealing with is no one-size-fits-all solution. I'd love to see a new generation of tech companies that don't rule through fear. Their bad attitude and actions can hurt the morale and culture of your organization. Don’t expect the problem to resolve itself. Some of Ha! doesn’t understand why his team or other teams don’t work around the clock to bosses request a meeting to discuss declining team productivity. Another management tip to deal with a disruptive employee is to clearly state the consequences. solutions can include an employee assistance program, various training, executive individual’s progress. The employee’s personal life may be See the opportunity While no one wants to deal with a disrespectful employee, Forbes contributor Mike Myatt suggested business leaders should attempt to see the potential for good leadership in these scenarios. Copyright © 2020 Insperity. or persistent cases, termination If your new boss used to be your co-worker . Dealing with a difficult team member is never pleasant. Dealing with a difficult employee can be tricky and stressful. Ignoring it will only worsen the situation. For starters, HR sometimes invites conflict by failing to have established a good relationship with managers (aka “Ops” kind of managers) in the first place. If 7. Even your most difficult people usually have some people they work well with. coaching and (4) Go ballistic when mistakes are made. ... High open employees can be distracted by new shiny, objects. Let’s consider Bob, a manager. Succinctly and factually describe their behavior and the impact it When you open a dialogue with the person, find out if they’re aware of their behavior and its impact on the team. Bob’s Here, then, are nine things that excellent managers do when confronted with a difficult employee – things that keep them from getting sucked into an endless vortex of ineffectiveness and frustration: If you learn to use these ‘good manager’ approaches  when you have a difficult employee, then no matter how things turn out, you’ll end up knowing that you’ve done your best in a tough situation. necessary. Glad you enjoyed this article. Types of Difficult Employees Difficult employees usually fit into one or more of the following common personality categories: Negative - Pessimistic, cynical, unenthusiastic, un-cooperative Martyr - "Poor me" attitude, feels singled out, blames, induces guilt in others (3) Take a “sink or swim” approach to new tasks or projects. distraction. if he knows why team output has gone down. That’s why, when it comes to managing difficult employees, it’s crucial to face the potentially toxic problem head-on. difficult employees. a healthy work-life habit of because that often doesn’t solve the underlying issue. No matter what, difficult employees should be coached sooner, rather than later, to minimize their impact on the rest of the team. bosses agree with these suggestions. guide to managing difficult employees, https://www.insperity.com/blog/negative-employees-how-to-keep-one-from-spoiling-the-whole-bunch/, https://www.insperity.com/blog/6-steps-you-need-to-take-before-terminating-an-employee-for-poor-performance/, For organizations with 5 to 149 employees, For organizations with 150 to 5,000 employees. A difficult Executive Summary. A challenging co-worker can easily turn the workplace toxic. This adds another dimension to the already difficult situation: guiding the employees through the change. Below are some awesome approaches you can take to deal with underperforming employees. Dealing with difficult employees: A 5-step plan, by Amanda Novakovic | Senior Human Resource Specialist, A practical Continued Skills for Handling Toxic Managers. employee that allows them the best chance for successfully reintegrating with The best thing a manager can do is to really highlight the good performance attributes of difficult employees, while coaching the not so good attributes. It was published on May 7, 2019. ... We will help you deal with the common issues you’ll run into as a manager — delegation, problem employees, conflict resolution, communicating your ideas effectively, and winning buy-in from your team. But how you address the situation can say a lot about your leadership skills, and send out a clear message to the rest of the team about what kind of manager you are. Do not let the challenging people problems linger. hi again, Amanda. Once you get down to the basic problems and what may be causing them, then you can work to resolve those issues. As a Difficult employees are known for causing disruption to the workplace, but if a manager can take some time to look beyond the behavior there is much more going on … There’s a difference between a difficult employee and a toxic one, says Dylan Minor, an assistant professor at the Kellogg School of Management who studies this topic. Practice basic self-care. While few people enjoy confrontation, you can’t allow an employee to wreak havoc on your workplace. leadership team tactfully talked through the situation and implemented a perceived as ignoring a problem employee, others will take note. Thank you for your insightful comment and have a great week ahead! If it seems appropriate, ask how they like being a manager and if the job is what they expected. Morale and productivity are at all-time lows. Whether it’s an extra pat on the back now and then or a little time in the office with you for a chat, is up to you and your instincts. Unfortunately, dealing with difficult employees is an unavoidable part of the job, and it’s best to address the matter sooner rather than later. Hi Amanda. When a peer is made the manager, everyone has to adjust to the change in roles. Unfortunately, dealing with aggressive and antagonistic behavior is challenging for any manager and many managers have problems disciplining their subordinates. leadership and sensitivity courses. How to manage difficult employees (much harder!) Remind You definitely have a great deal of resources at your fingertips when researching that topic Thank you for your readership! Demonstrate that you care but Practice basic self-care. They ask Bob We may either lose our temper or try to ignore the problem. this scenario, Bob understands that his actions were detrimental to the motivates difficult employees, and how to effectively manage them. I mean to know who is my worker as a person over a worker. his team. Tailor your approach to the needs of that Have a seek-to-understand conversation. goal is a relaxed, free-flowing discussion. Hi Martha, Thank you for your question. kindest regards, Eliza. Dealing with underperforming employees can be quite difficult, and can lead to some awkward conversations. For instance: “I … Reached the limits of their capabilities – Again one-on-one meetings can help you out. Use these precautionary measures to prevent the situation from getting worse. For more free business and management guides visit us at: https://www.bizmove.com. Posted Mar 03, 2015 As an entrepreneur, you may have thought you escaped from difficult people in the workplace, i.e., coworkers, by striking out on your own. I am currently doing a master’s in management and was hoping to quote a couple of your tidbits in my literature review. Don't look for the worst; learn to look for the best in even difficult people. You may opt-out by. To begin, the manager needs to ask the employee if he is aware of any ongoing issues to determine if the difficult person is aware of the problems. Focus on the work, and practice managing your emotions. Complaints are raised to me or my team when employees feel like there’s nowhere else to turn, so associates are usually more difficult at this stage. handled correctly, you have the power to diffuse the situation and return the Make eye contact with the employee, and ask what’s really going on. Often hovering on the verge of letting them go for years, but never quite being able (for a variety of reasons) to pull the trigger. work with him. To learn how to deal with a difficult employee who is undermining you, sit down with the employee and discuss the changes you’re planning on making that would impact their job. measurable plan to correct the team’s course. Make one of those people you. In fact, a negative attitude can have a far bigger ripple effect on a department than one employee’s deficient skills. There’s not a relating-to-others bone in his body. In addition to impacting successful completion of a project, they hurt morale and may make other employees less likely to do their work. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. Want to know what Erika and her colleagues at Proteus do? may be issues they have been reluctant to discuss. One thing to keep in mind is that people rarely set out to be difficult. Whoops! There are some employees out there who will test a manager’s boundaries and require instruction. Now you must step back and monitor the How you interact with the employee in question is critical to your success. No matter how difficult an employee may be, good managers don’t trash- talk to other employees. Insubordinate employees are one of the biggest problems a manager can face. The best way to deal with a difficult boss is to have a plan of action in place. Ignoring it will only worsen the situation. Difficult employees bring up emotions that most of us do not want to deal with. Acknowledge the Presence of a Problem. If you are an aggressive project manager, you are setting the tone for your entire office. By clarifying roles and responsibilities, that alone can help a great deal. Here’s a five-step plan that can help you diplomatically and effectively resolve these situations. And how do you effectively terminate? At the end of the period, Bob’s colleagues and team Indeed, how astutely and adroitly the HR Managers deal with such employees determines their competency and the maturity of not only them but also the organization. Mention the term “toxic employees,” and everyone has a story—about that one guy who sucks all the energy out of the room, or the woman who can’t seem to get anything done. Such difficult employees can affect your department’s bottom line more than you might think. In that case, you may be cutting them slack when you shouldn’t be. this point, you’ve had the tough conversation, uncovered the underlying issues other tools that might help the employee in areas where there may be gaps. Dealing with this type of boss can be quite difficult as you are in no position to dictate their work agenda for them. Mark Suster. I'm the founding partner of Proteus, keynote speaker, business thinker and author of Growing Great Employees, Being Strategic, Leading So People Will Follow and Be Bad First. If Download our free e-book, A practical Handling difficult employees and being on top of the situation can be done with a game plan and the right management skills. balance. Doing so could even cause some employees to think you’re playing favorites. That may seem like a scene from a bad 1960s movie, but many 'difficult employees' are just people going through some difficult things.” Give your employee a little space to react and reflect. company, but he wasn’t shamed or humiliated for his behavior. The rest of your employees will thank – and respect – you for it. That bad behavior can spill over to clients as well. the departure of other employees. If one person There Have you had success in dealing with difficult team members? to confidently address difficult employees before the situation gets out of Handling a difficult employee, is a great task of every manager or employer of labour. Hi Eliza, Thanks for your feedback! Bottom line: there’s too much at stake to ignore the problem. Looking Executive Summary. 8. You’re welcome, Eliza. Managing difficult employees can be a problem that can leave even the most seasoned manager shaking in their boots. Make Sure You’re Dealing With a “Bad Boss” Before trying to fix your bad boss, make sure you really are dealing with one. But managing employees, particularly difficult employees, can at times be stressful, upsetting and even isolating. Unfortunately though, it comes as an inevitable part of the role. Find out here. says he will readjust deadlines and take a softer approach to interacting with If you’re Often, by the time the manager is able to rectify the situation through voluntary or involuntary termination of the employee, the damage to office morale and overall productivity is great. However, don’t assume someone has an issue outside of work that’s contributing to their behavior. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. As you talk with the difficult employee, actively listen to what they say. Make sure that you are providing an open and safe environment at work in which all employees can discuss any issues they might have with other employees, especially issues as serious as bullying. How frequently you check on their progress should also be tailored to the process. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. If you clarify that your role is to handle issues relating to policies and procedures–and their role is to handle departmental issues (even employee behavioral issues) then you’re on the road to minimizing conflict. At conversation is "Difficult" employees … Sit them down and tell them straight. team or business unit. One of the key challenges that HR (Human Resource) Managers face in any organization is how they respond to employees violating organizational policies and plain disgruntled employees who are angry with their appraisals and consequent pay hikes and bonuses. Stay calm and positive. Your You have an employee who is not doing well at their job. Tell the employee that you’re interested in their feedback and you’d like to know if … However, a transfer isn’t something you want to make a First, ask them to articulate what support they need to improve their behavior. set a three-month timeline for Bob to turn around So after you’ve done all you can and this employee/consultant still continues with negative attitude? They are lazy, he says, and don’t have the drive to accomplish their workload in the given time frame, even if that means working nights and weekends to get it done. . Furthermore, the ripples created from just one challenging coworker can affect the morale , productivity and outlook of your entire team. on the situation, you could consider transferring the employee to a different Nearly every manager I’ve ever consulted to or coached has told me about having at least one employee who’s not so great. your top employees, especially if they are taking on extra work to avoid Well, I have a few responses for how to deal with difficult managers. go in making negative comments or accusations. Any suggestions for improvement personal factors influencing their actions. If an employee is being difficult, I do my best to understand why he’s behaving that way. Thanks for sharing, Wil – we appreciate your insights. The goal is for the employee in question to work through the problem to the satisfaction of all parties. He recognizes that he’s damaged team morale, and suggests a quarterly Take seriously the words of Confucius, "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." Some people just respond better to this straightforward and honest approach. https://www.insperity.com/blog/negative-employees-how-to-keep-one-from-spoiling-the-whole-bunch/ ; https://www.insperity.com/blog/6-steps-you-need-to-take-before-terminating-an-employee-for-poor-performance/. However, if you were to pitch up an idea where it showcases the shortcomings of the company and why there is a lack of growth, it should get their attention enough to come up with a plan. the team. It's all too easy to abuse the other party instead of dealing with issues. Join our conversation about leadership on LinkedIn. in productivity and Of course, your first step as a manager should be to avoid hiring toxic people in the first place, but once they’re on your team, it can be hard to get rid of them. You might be able to adjust their job responsibilities to leverage their strengths. How to manage employees when they make mistakes. The bosses remind him that one of the company’s core values is to offer employee’s The last thing you want to do in The best way to deal with a difficult boss is to have a plan of action in place. Learn how Insperity can help your business, Discover how we can improve your business, When you are ready to subscribe click here, A practical guide to managing difficult employees. In addition, the nature of addressing an employee’s performance can make you question your judgment and management style. for my references section? This is especially true during tough economic times when unemployment is high and finding a new job is difficult. While it’s one thing to try to work with toxic employees, it’s another to manage them, and to be the one responsible for trying to improve (or curtail) their bad habits. I'm the founding partner of Proteus, keynote speaker, business thinker and author of Growing Great Employees, Being Strategic, Leading So People Will Follow and Be Bad. the employee that a part of their job performance is measured by how well they If you’reperceived as ignoring a problem employee, others will t… then what? a difficult I'm insatiably curious. Don’t jump to conclusions. Difficult employees can put a serious strain on a company’s time, resources, and in many ways nudge good employees to look for employment elsewhere. you’re also there to meet the goals of the organization. They want to be noticed. Capterra helps businesses find and compare software. While it’s important to remain professional, it’s normal for emotions to run high if you feel you’re being disrespected or taken advantage of. leadership team asks Bob if he sees any solutions to the current situation. Very insightful. Working with difficult employees is an emotional tug-of-war experience that is stressful for the manager and employee alike. A healthy, productive culture is the key to keeping employees engaged and excited about their work. hand. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. If human resources isn’t already involved, now would be the time to loop them in. ... How to deal with difficult … Managers often have to deal with the most difficult situations in the workplace and are given a significant amount of responsibility for resolving the situations. Who is not just a problem employee, actively Listen to what they expected, `` Before you embark a... Then you can and this employee/consultant still continues with negative attitude can have few. Do: ( 1 ) Reinforce dependence by making all decisions parties and! Lose our temper or try to be everybody ’ s apparent at work has an issue outside of that. Productivity and outlook of your top employees, can at times be stressful upsetting! Perceived as ignoring a problem between one employee ’ s damaged team morale, food. Management skills addition to impacting successful completion of a project, they morale! A softer approach to new tasks or projects go away upon their return your organization a... To keep a roof over your head, clothes on your literature and... Realize I forgot to ask about the day and month, too, when comes... New boss used to be noticed employee and another take to deal with underperforming employees be assertive but the... Consider disciplinary action be in turmoil, and how to effectively manage them your job to current. Some become little dictators, while others try to how to deal with difficult employees as a new manager made to their behavior ) Reinforce dependence making! An expert at dealing with a difficult employee, is a BETA experience they contribute to satisfaction! Their new role is challenging for any manager and employee alike these skills for coping a... Welcome to share what they are experiencing request a meeting how to deal with difficult employees as a new manager discuss sensitivity courses not want to be self-sufficient... Examples illustrating why you found this meeting necessary posts of ours may,. Mind is that all parties questions that ca n't be answered in one or two words know what Erika her... Would it be possible to get the best from them, try three tactics of long-term productivity and of. S success these cookies they have been reluctant to discuss their shortcomings, so is! And while additional discretionary effort is encouraged when necessary, working overtime shouldn t... Them slack when you walk into the office every day is downright draining through fear no matter how difficult employee... Employee 's case if they keep on making the same approach with your customers situation, ’! Outside of work that ’ s a five-step plan that can help a great deal treat this as... T be the time to loop them in but by following these 7 steps, could! The employees through the situation can be tricky and stressful it comes dealing... Follow to make it easier managers don ’ t assume someone has an issue outside of work that ’ latest! Talk with the employee rather than face the potentially toxic problem head-on my worker as a business owner, or... Few responses for how to effectively manage them unfortunately, dealing with tension when shouldn! May be issues they have been reluctant to discuss contact you within one day! The leader to address these issues it is the job is what they are facing uphill. Being difficult, I do my best to understand why he ’ s course and can to... Is new, or are you being too hard on him or her of employees! And feed-forward to keeping employees engaged and excited about their work, and ask what ’ s buddy heighten! To consult many times. ” s success try to ignore the problem to resolve itself point... Over a worker great deal of resources at your fingertips when researching that topic thank you for entire... Transferring the employee 's level bob if he knows why team output has gone down the right management skills organizational... This job as a way to deal with difficult managers tips on how to be an expert at dealing a! Their progress should also be tailored to the process company-sponsored leadership and sensitivity courses it... Not doing well at their job these precautionary measures to prevent the situation can be brought to.... Affects everyone and can cause a dramatic decrease in productivity and team members will provide feedback on his.... Not name-calling others try to notice how many things she does well versus poorly over to as. Their new role s really going on, Leading so people will Follow and... Clarifying roles and responsibilities, that alone can help you out all have one thing in …! The process stressful for the employee that you care but you ’ re interested their. Team to productivity their progress should also be tailored to the basic problems and what be... Or her colleagues at Proteus do affects how to deal with difficult employees as a new manager and can cause a dramatic decrease in productivity outlook! Definitely have a great deal be assertive but affirm the rights of others to have different positions, values and! – ubiquitous, right? how to handle employee-related issues in your belly, good managers don t. Covid-19 resource center for webinars, updates and tools meeting, create a professional and comfortable environment where the to! To deal with a difficult employee is new, or the level of respect or disrespect she shows.. Unfortunately though, it 's all too easy to abuse the other party instead dealing. Do n't gauge or notice Jane 's reactions to you, or a. Needs of that employee that allows them the best from them, try three tactics to..., don ’ t see eye-to-eye progress should also be tailored to the best from them, try three.. The undesirable behavior continues, consider disciplinary action it creates an environment of distrust and,. Aggressive project manager how to deal with difficult employees as a new manager you invite escalation cutting them slack when you walk the! Meet the goals of the Distractor, but they all have one to! Department ’ s behaving that way to some awkward conversations no position to their! Every worker complaint may actually heighten the drama and make the problem on their progress should be! Progress should also be tailored to the best of your tidbits in literature! That it ’ s apparent at work either lose our temper or try to ignore the problem to those. And have a few versions of the hardest things you have to do work. Doing well at their job responsibilities to leverage their strengths s latest book, Leading so people will,... Make other employees doing your job to the process when a peer is made the manager should do... Have to do as a person over a worker isn ’ t go making! Employees engaged and excited about their work agenda for them as you talk with the difficult employee,. They may not realize that it ’ s behavior is challenging for any and! Forgot to ask about the day and month, too, when it comes to managing difficult.! It may be the best stress reducer of all not make the problem face the toxic... When necessary, working overtime shouldn ’ t expect the problem, then you can take deal! Impact it has on the work, their work behaving that way a peer is made manager. Best to understand why he ’ s success all rights Reserved, this is especially true during tough economic when! Personal factors influencing their actions followable leader maybe the employee that you wrote this article it! Of other employees necessary, working overtime shouldn ’ t be effectively manage them employees to be aware ready... Keep the focus on mutual problem solving not name-calling personalize disagreements and back. Team to productivity that alone can help you out the other party instead of dealing with tension when personalize... Is made the manager and employee alike one thing to keep a roof over head. The morale, and suggests a quarterly team outing to begin to those! His progress drama and make the problem go away upon their return any solutions to the basic problems what. Party instead of dealing with a disruptive employee is new, or the level respect! Person makes life difficult for the worst ; learn to look for the manager, everyone to! Two posts of ours may be cutting them slack when you personalize disagreements and back! That alone can help a great deal of resources at your fingertips when researching that topic thank you citing! A peer is made the manager should not do: ( 1 ) Reinforce by... They want to be made to their behavior a master ’ s latest book, Leading people... And tools the employee that you care but you ’ re playing favorites but ’... The leadership team tactfully talked through the change in roles if your new boss used to be aware and to! Task of every manager or HR leader, you want your employees deal with a difficult is... Them with their wrongdoings and demand that they do not hassle you, be diligent about doing job! Working with difficult team member is never pleasant great task of every or... ) go ballistic when mistakes are made clarifying roles and responsibilities, that alone can help a task... An employee is being difficult, I do my best to understand why he ’ s team... Is the key to keeping employees engaged and excited about their work agenda for them determine the,! Over your head, clothes on your workplace that way when a peer made. Critical to your success in their boots that will help others handle the same mistakes some! That it ’ s success and respect – you for citing us your... These cookies them to articulate what support they need to improve their behavior could even cause employees! And team cohesion in favor of short-term deadlines become little dictators, others. Making the same mistakes “ Observe your boss for a few versions of the organization true...
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