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Best Way to Deal With Difficult Employees

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Best Way to Deal With Difficult Employees

Addressing a difficult employee can be a complicated process. Not only can these employees disrupt the business rhythm, but they can also hurt the work environment by lowering the morale of the other employees. This is why it is incredibly vital for management to know how to deal with situations such as this. This is a tough situation to be in, but if handled properly, there is a good chance that the difficult employee will fix their behavior and become a team player again. Here are some helpful management techniques to consider when addressing a problematic employee.

Do Not Ignore the Problem

This is one of those cases where “out of sight out of mind” does not work. Problems with difficult employees will most likely never be resolved if left unaddressed. Also, the longer it festers, the more negative impact it will cause overall. To stop the negativity from spreading around the entire work environment, addressing the problem before it gets too big is critical. It also sets an excellent example for the other employees, proving to them that management is taking action when needed. Nobody wants a manager who ignores problems and sweeps everything under the rug. You also need to be cautious that you don’t drop any unnecessary staffing quotes that might turn an employee’s perspective on the situation sour.

Document Everything

It is critical to document all the inappropriate behavior or actions of the employee you want to address. Make sure that the documentation has specific instances of unacceptable behavior along with dates and times they occurred. Having a record of this will not only help you remember all the details but also used as evidence when bringing this to the employee’s attention. Another great reason to have documentation is it can be utilized to create a corrective action plan to fix the behaviors. Using staffing software to accurately schedule, record and report on employee incidents will become important should the issue continue to be a problem.

Have a Private Conversation

Confrontation can be hard, but in this case, it is necessary. By using the documentation method mentioned above, management should be fully prepared to have this discussion with the employee. Management needs to be clear and transparent when addressing the problematic employee on their unacceptable behavior or actions. In addition to this, management should have an open ear and listen to the employee’s side of the story. Conversing with the employee is essential, but listening is a significant portion of resolving the issues as well. At the end of the conversation, there should be a mutual agreement on the expectations of the employee, and they should be fully aware of the consequences if their behavior continues.

Monitor Progress and Follow-up

After the private conversation is conducted, there is still more work to do for both the employee and the manager. To make sure the problematic employee does what they are supposed to be doing, there should be clear mitigation steps in place to fix the behavior. Management should be checking in regularly to make sure progress is occurring and that things are improving. Not only does this help monitor progress, but it also shows the employee that management is taking the situation seriously and genuinely wants to help them succeed.


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