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If you’re a new manager, you’re likely still trying to figure out the best way to deal with difficult employees. Knowing how to react when an employee is acting out or challenging your authority can be hard, but luckily, some techniques can help.
This blog post will give you tips for managing difficult employees. By following these tips, you can maintain a positive working environment while addressing any issues that may arise. Let’s get started!
What is a Difficult Employee?
A difficult employee is someone hard to deal with or manage. This type of person often has negative behaviors that make them tough to work with. They may be disruptive, uncooperative, or even hostile. These employees can be a challenge for any manager.
How To Spot a Difficult Employee?
Several warning signs can help you identify a problematic employee. Here are some things to look out for:
- Frequent absences or tardiness
- Poor work quality
- Disruptive behavior
- Uncooperative attitude
- Refusal to follow the rules or policies
- Hostility towards coworkers or management
- Excessive personal phone calls or internet use during work hours
If you see any of these warning signs in an employee, it is crucial to take action. Ignoring the problem will not make it disappear and will only worsen it.
How To Deal With Difficult Employees as a New Manager
As a new manager, you will likely encounter difficult employees at some point. These tips will help you deal with them effectively and keep your team functioning smoothly.
1. Establish clear expectations from the start
It is important that you set clear expectations from the start with all of your employees. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunication down the road. Be sure to communicate your expectations clearly and concisely, and be available to answer any questions your employees may have.
You should also set specific goals for employees within a particular timeline to get the latest insights on whether they are improving or not. But, again, it’s important to be clear about what is expected of them and the consequences if they don’t meet those expectations.
2. Get to know your employees
Getting to know your employees personally can go a long way in managing them effectively. Take the time to learn about their interests, hobbies, and goals. This will help you to understand them better and build trust between you and them.
3. Be consistent with your management style
You must be consistent with your management style to be effective. If you constantly change how you do things, it will only confuse and frustrate your employees. Find a management style that works for you and stick with it.
4. Don’t ignore the problem
It can be tempting to ignore difficult employees when you’re a new manager and hope they go away. However, this is the worst thing you can do. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse. Instead, talk to the employee privately and document everything that happens. This way, you have a record of what’s happening and can take action according to company policy if necessary.
5. Stay calm and collected
It’s important to stay calm and collected when managing difficult employees. It will only worsen the situation if you get angry or upset. Instead, explain to employees why the behavior is unacceptable calmly and clearly. This will help employees understand why they need to change their bad behavior.
6. Be fair and objective
When dealing with difficult employees, you must be fair and objective in your decision-making. Try not to let personal biases or emotions cloud your judgment. Instead, base your decisions on facts and logic.
7. Encourage open communication
Encouraging open communication between you and your employees is key to managing them effectively. Encourage them to come to you with any concerns or issues. Let them know that you are open to feedback and suggestions.
Some ways to encourage open communication with difficult employees include:
→ Meeting with them one-on-one
As a new manager, meeting with each employee one-on-one is essential. This will help you understand their point of view and will make it easier for them to talk to you about any problems they’re having. It will also help you identify difficult employees early on and address the issue before it worsens.
→ Making yourself available to talk
Ensure the employees know you’re available to talk to them if they have any personal problems. This can be done by having an open-door policy or making yourself available at certain times.
→ Encouraging them to talk openly about their feelings
Encouraging difficult employees to talk openly about their feelings is crucial because it will help them feel more comfortable talking to you about any problems they have. It will also help you understand their point of view and may help them feel more comfortable changing their behavior.
8. Use positive reinforcement
When an employee does something well, let them know about it! A little bit of positive reinforcement can go a long way in motivating employees and encouraging them to do their best work.
9. Avoid public criticism
If an employee makes a mistake, avoid criticizing them in front of others. This will only embarrass and humiliate them, making the situation worse. Instead, talk to them privately about what they did wrong and how they can improve in the future.
10. Show empathy and understanding when possible
When dealing with difficult employees, it’s important to show empathy and understanding. Try to understand employees’ behavior and monitor progress closely. This will help them feel like they can talk to you about any problems and may help resolve the situation.
11. Seek help from a manager or HR if needed
If the situation with the problematic employee becomes too complicated or you’re unsure how to handle it, seek help from a manager or HR. They will be able to help you resolve the situation and may have some recommendations for dealing with challenging employees.
How to get help from a manager or HR:
- Talk to your HR team about the situation and see if they have any advice.
- If the situation is complex or you’re unsure how to handle it, ask for help from the HR department.
- Explain the situation and why you need help.
- Be prepared to provide documentation or evidence of the problem.
12. Follow through with consequences if necessary
If the problematic employee doesn’t change their disruptive behavior after you’ve talked to them and set clear expectations, you may need to follow through with consequences. This means they will have to face the consequences you said would happen if they didn’t change their behavior.
Here are some consequences employees can face if they do not change their attitude.
→ Verbal or Formal Written Warning
If the toxic employee doesn’t change their poor behavior after you’ve talked to them and set clear expectations, you may need to issue a verbal or written warning. This will let them know that their behavior is unacceptable and that they must change it or face further consequences.
If the challenging employee continues to exhibit negative behavior, you may need to suspend them from work. This will give them time to think about their behavior and how it affects their job.
→ Loss of privileges
You may need to remove some of the toxic employee’s privileges if they continue to exhibit unacceptable behavior. This could include taking away their company car or not allowing them to work from home.
If the difficult employee’s undesirable behavior continues after you’ve tried other methods of discipline, you may need to demote them. This will involve giving them a lower position in the company with less responsibility.
Sometimes, the only way to deal with a problematic employee is to terminate their employment. This should be done as a last resort after all other methods of discipline have failed.
13. Document everything
When dealing with a challenging employee, it’s important to document everything. This includes conversations with the employee, any incidents, and anything else relevant to the situation. This documentation will be helpful if you need to take disciplinary action or if the situation escalates and provide feedback to higher authorities in the organization.
Related: Conflict Management Skill
As a new manager, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of dealing with difficult employees. However, it’s important to remember that you are not alone, and there are ways to deal with these situations effectively. By following the tips in this article, you can learn how to handle difficult employees in a way that minimizes drama and leads to positive change.
Have you had experience dealing with difficult employees? Let us know about it in the comment section below.
What is the best way to manage difficult employees?
The best way to deal with a difficult employee may vary depending on the situation. However, some tips for dealing with difficult employees include: talking to your manager about the situation, asking for help from HR, setting clear expectations and consequences, and encouraging open communication. In addition, you can start a complete employee assistance program to help such employees.
How do you deal with an employee who undermines you?
If an employee is undermining you, you may want to talk to them about their behavior in a private meeting. It’s important to stay calm and explain why the behavior is unacceptable. You may also want to set clear expectations and consequences for their behavior. If the situation escalates, you may need help from a manager or HR.
What if an employee refuses to change their behavior?
You may need to take disciplinary action if an employee refuses to change their behavior. This could include a verbal or written warning, suspension, loss of privileges, demotion, or termination.
What are some tips for preventing difficult employee situations?
Some tips for preventing difficult employee situations include: having regular check-ins with employees, setting clear expectations from the beginning, and dealing with problems as soon as they arise. Additionally, it’s important to create a positive work environment where employees feel like they can openly communicate with you about any issues.
How do you discipline an employee with a negative attitude?
You can discipline an employee with critique behavior in a few different ways. One way would be to talk to them about their attitude and tell them that it is unacceptable. You could also give them a warning or write them up for their behavior. Another option would be to suspend or fire the employee.
Why should I care about employees’ behavior?
It’s important to care about employee behavior because it can affect employee performance, the morale of other employees, and your team’s overall productivity. In addition, an employee with bad behavior causes a loss of money and time for business owners. Therefore, employees’ good behavior is in the organization’s best interest. One employee with a bad attitude can affect other employees by creating a hostile work environment. Additionally, if you ignore problem behavior, it may escalate and become more challenging to deal with.
What could be the causes of Employee Negative behavior?
Several potential negative behavior causes include employee life issues, stress, conflict with other workers, poor performance issues, or feeling like they’re not valued at work. If you’re having difficulty pinpointing the cause of the behavior, it may be helpful to talk to the employee about their concerns.