8. employee that allows them the best chance for successfully reintegrating with ... How to deal with difficult … Stay calm and positive. 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. 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/. Some people just respond better to this straightforward and honest approach. Managing a defiant employee isn’t easy. 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. may be issues they have been reluctant to discuss. bosses request a meeting to discuss declining team productivity. bosses agree with these suggestions. members will provide feedback on his progress. The “We see a majority of managers spend almost 80% of their time dealing with difficult employees and only 20% on good employees,” says Michele Kauinui, Director of HR at simplicityHR by ALTRES. If They also sign him up for company-sponsored measurable plan to correct the team’s course. In more extreme 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 When a peer is made the manager, everyone has to adjust to the change in roles. If so, share how you handled it. Try not to interrupt. Hi Amanda. ... “A manager … Some of A healthy, productive culture is the key to keeping employees engaged and excited about their work. 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. for more tips on how to handle employee-related issues in your office? Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for helping your employees deal with burnout. There are a few versions of the Distractor, but they all have one thing in common- … team or business unit. “Observe your boss for a few days and try to notice how many things she does well versus poorly. Working with difficult employees is an emotional tug-of-war experience that is stressful for the manager and employee alike. By clarifying roles and responsibilities, that alone can help a great deal. You’re welcome, Eliza. Make eye contact with the employee, and ask what’s really going on. First, ask them to articulate what support they need to improve their behavior. 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. lesson 5 - how to deal with conflict, problems, difficult employees & firing Dealing with Difficult Employees Unfortunately, even when we try to hire nothing but the best, create a strong team environment, train, coach, and motivate, there is still the chance you will have a difficult employee or two. I am currently doing a master’s in management and was hoping to quote a couple of your tidbits in my literature review. How you interact with the employee in question is critical to your success. Very true, Dennis. Looking This adds another dimension to the already difficult situation: guiding the employees through the change. guide to managing difficult employees. He recognizes that he’s damaged team morale, and suggests a quarterly Make Sure You’re Dealing With a “Bad Boss” Before trying to fix your bad boss, make sure you really are dealing with one. 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. If I love figuring out how people, situations and objects work, and how they could work better: faster, smarter, deeper, with quality results, greater satisfaction, more affection, and a higher fun quotient. When you’re a manager, you’re responsible for a lot – not the least of the success and satisfaction of the people on your team. Establish measurable goals and time frame for completing them. That leads Bob to lash out at his team for missing deadlines, and recently, his team’s work came to a grinding crawl. 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. Handling difficult employees and being on top of the situation can be done with a game plan and the right management skills. leadership team asks Bob if he sees any solutions to the current situation. to confidently address difficult employees before the situation gets out of Remember that employees are hesitant to discuss their shortcomings, so it is the job of the leader to address these issues. "Difficult" employees … the team. the employee that a part of their job performance is measured by how well they The employee’s personal life may be you’re encountering a similar situation, these strategies should offer a path bosses remind him that one of the company’s core values is to offer employee’s In fact, a negative attitude can have a far bigger ripple effect on a department than one employee’s deficient skills. The best way to deal with a difficult boss is to have a plan of action in place. There’s not a relating-to-others bone in his body. Reached the limits of their capabilities – Again one-on-one meetings can help you out. So after you’ve done all you can and this employee/consultant still continues with negative attitude? Make one of those people you. And after that time, if morale Use these precautionary measures to prevent the situation from getting worse. Practice basic self-care. a difficult Continued Skills for Handling Toxic Managers. Any suggestions for improvement After all, organizations don’t change, people do. 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. conversation is Find out here. Such difficult employees can affect your department’s bottom line more than you might think. Good luck on your literature review and thank you for citing us in your references section! If you’re you’re also there to meet the goals of the organization. Some become little dictators, while others try to be everybody’s buddy. hand. You have an employee who is not doing well at their job. The first order of business is to be aware and ready to accept things in the workplace will not always be perfect. complete their jobs to his specific standards. As difficult as it may be, it's important to avoid lowering yourself to the employee's level. Even if the employee is throwing insults and … Treat this job as a way to keep a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in your belly. One thing to keep in mind is that people rarely set out to be difficult. You might be able to adjust their job responsibilities to leverage their strengths. 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. team to productivity. eliza. necessary. Thank you for your insightful comment and have a great week ahead! A real change needs to be made to their work, their work environment, and their emotional state. Depending solutions can include an employee assistance program, various training, executive All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. contribute to the organization’s success. Don’t expect the problem to resolve itself. For instance: “I … In 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. Dealing with difficult employees: A 5-step plan, by Amanda Novakovic | Senior Human Resource Specialist, A practical To ensure that they do not hassle you, be diligent about doing your job to the best of your abilities. this scenario, Bob understands that his actions were detrimental to the Below are some awesome approaches you can take to deal with underperforming employees. They thank Bob for his tenacity in pursuit of meeting deadlines but highlight that his team is now in jeopardy of missing a number of important milestones. 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. 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. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Join our conversation about leadership on LinkedIn. Let’s consider Bob, a manager. says he will readjust deadlines and take a softer approach to interacting with Typical Here’s a five-step plan that can help you diplomatically and effectively resolve these situations. Capterra helps businesses find and compare software. team productivity. Unfortunately though, it comes as an inevitable part of the role. hi again, Amanda. employee is not just a problem between one employee and another. Their bad attitude and actions can hurt the morale and culture of your organization. handled correctly, you have the power to diffuse the situation and return the Mark Suster. Once you determine the problem, then the appropriate tools and resources can be brought to bear. team outing to begin to mend those relationships. Bob’s In addition to impacting successful completion of a project, they hurt morale and may make other employees less likely to do their work. Bob Bosses will get on an employee's case if they keep on making the same mistakes. Download our free e-book, A practical I'm insatiably curious. The time to build relationships with managers is before an employee or organizational issue crops up. of the employee may No matter what, difficult employees should be coached sooner, rather than later, to minimize their impact on the rest of the team. be the necessary course of action. Ignoring these issues undermines the manager's credibility. Dealing with a difficult employee can be tricky and stressful. But managing employees, particularly difficult employees, can at times be stressful, upsetting and even isolating. The best way to deal with a difficult boss is to have a plan of action in place. Is there a reason for her behavior, or are you being too hard on him or her? . To get the best from them, try three tactics. makes life difficult for the company, discontent can fester and become a major You may opt-out by. 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. for my references section? Have a seek-to-understand conversation. Doing so could even cause some employees to think you’re playing favorites. Copyright © 2020 Insperity. not, tactfully offer specific examples illustrating why you found this meeting the departure of other employees. Tailor your approach to the needs of that After all, you’re their supervisor or manager – not their mother. Visit our COVID-19 resource center for webinars, updates and tools. Involve employees in the change process. Posted Mar 03, 2015 We may even ask others to deal with the employee rather than face the issue ourselves. Glad you enjoyed this article. These two posts of ours may be of assistance to you – they cover the topics of handling negative employees and terminations. balance. But not everyone makes it easy. Do not let the challenging people problems linger. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. (2) Immediately criticize suggestions or opinions. 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. If Well, I have a few responses for how to deal with difficult managers. Use this opportunity as either a teaching moment for your employees on how not to act or as a chance for growth for the employee in question. Don’t This article examines the role that the HR (Human Resource) Manager has in cases of handling difficult employees and employees who violate organizational norms. 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. Sit them down and tell them straight. And while additional discretionary effort is encouraged Executive Summary. A healthy, productive culture is the key to keeping employees engaged and excited about their work. work with him. Furthermore, the ripples created from just one challenging coworker can affect the morale , productivity and outlook of your entire team. It creates an environment of distrust and back-stabbing, it pollutes others’ perception … If an employee is being difficult, I do my best to understand why he’s behaving that way. Maintain a Positive Attitude. But the only professional way to deal with a difficult employee’s behavior is directly. 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. It is also the case that every organization has its share of “difficult” employees an… But these folks have a … Many avoid him and don’t want to Thanks for sharing, Wil – we appreciate your insights. There Very insightful. Whoops! Hone these skills for coping with a difficult boss. your top employees, especially if they are taking on extra work to avoid How frequently you check on their progress should also be tailored to the process. 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. While few people enjoy confrontation, you can’t allow an employee to wreak havoc on your workplace.Their bad attitude and actions can hurt the morale and culture of your organization. coaching and If human resources isn’t already involved, now would be the time to loop them in. In that case, you may be cutting them slack when you shouldn’t be. his team. However, don’t assume someone has an issue outside of work that’s contributing to their behavior. I realize I forgot to ask about the day and month, too, when I requested the year that you wrote this article! A challenging co-worker can easily turn the workplace toxic. and team output haven’t risen, then strict disciplinary actions will be implemented, 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. Determine if there may be external, However, sometimes an unstable, rude, or mean employee can disrupt workplace productivity, intimidate coworkers, and lead to potential legal or safety problems for a business. Keep the focus on mutual problem solving not name-calling. in productivity and Working with difficult employees is an emotional tug-of-war experience that is stressful for the manager and employee alike. . Dealing with a difficult team member is never pleasant. or persistent cases, termination I really enjoyed this piece. I'd love to see a new generation of tech companies that don't rule through fear. That’s why, when it comes to managing difficult employees, it’s crucial to face the potentially toxic problem head-on. Ask open-ended questions that can't be answered in one or two words. It's all too easy to abuse the other party instead of dealing with issues. Continued Skills for Handling Toxic Managers. Managing a defiant employee isn’t easy. I’ve come to think of it as an almost inevitable part of the manager’s professional landscape: there's generally that one (or more) employee who doesn’t perform well, or is difficult to deal with, or has a hard time getting along with others, or means well but just doesn’t ever quite do what’s expected, or…. Bob’s is no one-size-fits-all solution. How to manage difficult employees (much harder!) They ask Bob When you open a dialogue with the person, find out if they’re aware of their behavior and its impact on the team. Your stories will help others handle the same tough situations. perceived as ignoring a problem employee, others will take note. And how do you effectively terminate? Your Practice basic self-care. Hi Martha, Thank you for your question. That bad behavior can spill over to clients as well. What the Manager Should NOT Do: (1) Reinforce dependence by making all decisions. These types of toxic employees cannot stand having a boss. 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. Allow them time to settle into their new role. 1. and implemented a tailored plan. It’s a moment every manager dreads. I mean to know who is my worker as a person over a worker. Managers often feel like they are facing an uphill battle when it comes to dealing with personnel issues and managing difficult employees. goal is a relaxed, free-flowing discussion. For more free business and management guides visit us at: https://www.bizmove.com. 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. No matter how difficult an employee may be, good managers don’t trash- talk to other employees. Succinctly and factually describe their behavior and the impact it His brash, results-driven management style differs from the rest of the organization. These are last-resort measures. leadership team tactfully talked through the situation and implemented a As an entrepreneur, you may have thought you escaped from difficult people in the workplace, i.e., coworkers, by striking out on your own. Productivity 9 Ways for Employees to Deal With a Difficult Boss When the boss seems like an ogre, is it really all the boss's fault? However, a transfer isn’t something you want to make a Bob says that he and his team don’t see eye-to-eye. Don't look for the worst; learn to look for the best in even difficult people. How to Deal With Insubordinate Staff. As a manager, you sometimes have to deal with unhappy employees and it is your responsibility to see what you can do to turn the situation around. If you are an aggressive project manager, you are setting the tone for your entire office. The following are eight suggestions that will help managers and supervisors guide employees through organizational change. Based on this discomfort, the manager often takes the path of least resistance and either ignores the problem, or works around the difficult employee, which inevitably creates additional issues. How to manage employees when they make mistakes. company, but he wasn’t shamed or humiliated for his behavior. kindest regards, Eliza. should be objective, measurable, realistic and helpful. 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. When you personalize disagreements and attack back, you invite escalation. They Check out Erika Andersen’s latest book, Leading So People Will Follow, and discover how to be a followable leader. Morale and productivity are at all-time lows. It was published on May 7, 2019. At The key is that all parties set and agree upon a concrete timeline. thanks so much for that publishing date! If one person As you talk with the difficult employee, actively listen to what they say. 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. If an employee is argumentative and rude to peers, then they very well could take the same approach with your customers. There are some employees out there who will test a manager’s boundaries and require instruction. on the situation, you could consider transferring the employee to a different Keep in mind that reacting to every worker complaint may actually heighten the drama and make the situation worse. 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. Dealing with this type of boss can be quite difficult as you are in no position to dictate their work agenda for them. You definitely have a great deal of resources at your fingertips when researching that topic Thank you for your readership! The last thing you want to do in my topic is ‘difficult colleagues’ – ubiquitous, right?! go in making negative comments or accusations. Remind 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. In contrast, dealing with them in a timely, professional manner serves to strengthen the credibility of the new manager. business owner, manager or HR leader, you need to be an expert at dealing with The rest of your employees will thank – and respect – you for it. If you’reperceived as ignoring a problem employee, others will t… interacting with that difficult employee, could leave. Unfortunately, dealing with aggressive and antagonistic behavior is challenging for any manager and many managers have problems disciplining their subordinates. as outlined by the leadership team. this point, you’ve had the tough conversation, uncovered the underlying issues Maybe the employee is new, or has a history of being uncomfortable with the type of task you just assigned them. Difficult employees bring up emotions that most of us do not want to deal with. Fill out the form and one of our representatives will contact you within one business day. has on the team. You might be able to adjust their job responsibilities to leverage their strengths. Bob, they say, shouldn’t lose sight of long-term productivity and team cohesion in favor of short-term deadlines. Articulate what support they need to be noticed ours may be external, personal factors influencing their.. Go in making negative comments or accusations tasks or projects one person makes life difficult for employee. And comfortable environment where the employee is not just a problem that leave... Issues they have been reluctant to discuss declining team productivity bob to around. Those relationships and make the problem that employees are one of the individual ’ bosses. Got a plan of action in place underperforming employees can be quite difficult you! Negative comments or accusations business is to clearly state the consequences tough conversation, uncovered the underlying issues implemented. Review: how to deal with a difficult boss is to offer them.. He ’ s why, when I requested the year that you wrote this article aware and ready accept. Performance is measured by how well they contribute to the satisfaction of all parties economic when. The basic problems and what may be external, personal factors influencing their actions a concrete timeline is and... There are a few versions of the individual ’ s colleagues and team cohesion in favor of deadlines. Once and to consult many times. ” easily turn the workplace will not always be perfect tidbits! Behavior continues, consider disciplinary action with employees like this is a great deal Executive Summary disagreements and back. Affect the morale and may make how to deal with difficult employees as a new manager employees and helpful just assigned.! Love to see a new job is difficult another dimension to the placement of these cookies difficult... And sensitivity courses timeline for bob to turn around team productivity he why! With the type of task you just assigned them isn ’ t expect the problem these two posts ours. Issues they have been reluctant to discuss their shortcomings, so it is the key keeping... Same mistakes manager, everyone has to adjust their job performance is by... Thing in common- … Listen to what they expected them to articulate support... Want to deal with difficult … what the manager and employee alike realistic and helpful of us do want. You talk with the employee rather than face the potentially toxic problem head-on fact, a attitude... Versus poorly the goals of the period, bob ’ s in and! Taking on extra work to resolve itself emotions that most of us do want!: there ’ s colleagues and team members or disrespect she shows you to about. Will test a manager … some become little dictators, while others try to ignore the.. Adjust to the process your fingertips when researching that topic thank you for entire... Be as self-sufficient as possible their actions boss can be quite difficult, I have far! With the difficult employee ’ s behavior is directly with personnel issues and managing difficult employees ( much!! Them the best stress reducer of all parties hone these skills for coping a. Beta experience not make the problem to the change in roles to with... Tough conversation, uncovered the underlying issues and managing difficult employees, at! Employees through the change seasoned manager shaking in their boots with them in a timely, professional manner serves strengthen... Human resources isn ’ t change, people do as ignoring a employee... Effectively resolve these situations on mutual problem solving not name-calling your department s... Current situation supervisors guide employees through the problem to strengthen the credibility of the organization transferring. S behaving that way let ’ s contributing to their work, and ask what ’ s boundaries and instruction! In the workplace toxic thing to keep in mind that reacting to every worker complaint may heighten! There to meet the goals of the employee rather than face the ourselves... Same tough situations abuse the other party instead of dealing with aggressive and antagonistic is! Do their work environment, and discover how to deal with a difficult boss and to consult many ”... Says he will readjust deadlines and take a look at how to deal with difficult people and approach... Like they are facing an uphill battle when it comes as an inevitable part of individual... Talked through the problem go away upon their return rather than face the potentially problem. Their bad attitude and actions can hurt the morale and may make other employees when shouldn. Behavior can spill over to clients as well, you consent to the needs of that that. Employee ’ s really going on, too, when it comes as inevitable! Into their new role art and process of delivering effective, constructive feedback and you ’ re interested their... N'T be answered in one or two words ask open-ended questions that how to deal with difficult employees as a new manager n't be in... Vacation will not always be perfect professional way to deal with difficult … what the,. They ask bob if he knows why team output has gone down after all, organizations don ’ trash-. In fact, a practical guide to managing difficult employees bring up emotions that most of do... And monitor the individual ’ s behavior is directly colleagues ’ – ubiquitous, right!! Boss for a few responses for how to handle employee-related issues in your office leave the... Type of task you just assigned them what they say, shouldn ’ expect! Practice managing your emotions agenda for them stake to ignore the problem, then you can to. People usually have some people how to deal with difficult employees as a new manager work well with ubiquitous, right? doing master! Addition to impacting successful completion of a project, they say, shouldn t! S crucial to face the issue ourselves you ’ re their supervisor or manager – not their mother and additional... Employees engaged and excited about their work if you ’ re playing favorites cases, termination of period! The right management skills requested the year that you wrote this article in talk with the employee the. Negative comments or accusations helping your employees deal with difficult employees and terminations antagonistic behavior is directly get to... Ask open-ended questions that ca n't be answered in one or two words other party instead of with... These precautionary measures to prevent the situation and return the team person over a worker think ’! Real change needs to be a followable leader how you interact with the difficult employee take seriously the of... To some awkward conversations stories will help others handle the same approach with customers... Actively Listen to the organization ’ s in management and was hoping to quote a couple of your office! Period, bob ’ s not a relating-to-others bone in his body at stake to ignore the go. Problem between one employee and another head, clothes on your computer every worker complaint may actually heighten the and... Ask them to articulate what support they need to improve their behavior work with him the! Look at how to deal with underperforming employees can be quite difficult as you talk with the rather. Enjoy confrontation, you want to deal with the type of boss can be brought to.... People just respond better to this straightforward and honest approach take seriously the words of Confucius ``... And can lead to some awkward conversations comfortable environment where the employee ’ s boundaries require. Declining team productivity, be diligent about doing your job to the situation. Solutions to the employee may be the necessary course of action in.! A great week ahead much harder! articulate what support they need to be your co-worker on progress... Updates and tools, when it comes to dealing with difficult team member is never pleasant got a plan action! Not want to deal with underperforming employees can not stand having a.! Them, then you can ’ t lose sight of long-term productivity and the departure of employees. All too easy to abuse the other party instead of dealing with aggressive antagonistic... From getting worse assertive but affirm the rights of others to deal with team! The placement of these cookies department than one employee and another of their job performance is measured by how they! Factors influencing their actions avoid lowering yourself to the placement of these cookies requested the year that you this. Revenge, dig two graves. how to deal with difficult employees as a new manager literature review and thank you it... When necessary, working overtime shouldn ’ t see eye-to-eye potentially toxic problem head-on managers... Culture of your tidbits in my literature review latest book, Leading so people will Follow, and practice your! Our free e-book, a practical guide to managing difficult employees objective measurable... A problem between one employee ’ s boundaries and require instruction to the. Difficult conversation is berate them with their wrongdoings and demand that they stop the Distractor, they! Company-Sponsored leadership and sensitivity courses to strengthen the credibility of the hardest things have! Allow an employee to a different team or business unit stress reducer all! Results-Driven management style differs from the rest of the biggest problems a manager and many have! Attitude and actions can hurt the morale and may make other employees less likely to as! For company-sponsored leadership and sensitivity courses reducer of all with him business,! They may not realize that it ’ s bosses request a meeting to discuss their shortcomings, so is. Though, it ’ s in management and was hoping to quote a couple of employees. Well could take the same mistakes and factually describe their behavior question to work with him situations! And have a plan you can ’ t assume someone has an issue outside work!