It happens all the time – you have a problem employee. They are distracting and bringing down productivity. What do you do?
It’s not a favorable task, but managers must know how to deal with problem employees. Unfortunately, it comes with the job. You’ll have to deal with it head-on and sooner rather than later. Fortunately, we’ve put together a few tips to help you better address any issues. Here’s what you should do:
- Don’t ignore the problem – Allowing anyone to demoralize your work environment is bad for everyone. Negative attitudes and actions are distracting. So, speak to the employee about the issues as soon as they begin to surface, before things get out of control.
- Don’t make the conversation personal – As difficult as it may be, don’t use “you” language; use “I.” Avoid statements like, “You have become a problem.” Instead, say something like, “I’ve noticed that you aren’t enjoying your role here, and you’ve been seen making comments under your breath when others speak.” Be accurate and concise in addressing the offensive behaviors and their impact on your team.
- Don’t make assumptions - Privately pull the person aside to begin a dialogue, and find out if they’re aware of their negative behavior. You should also find out if there are any external, personal factors at play that may be influencing their actions. Perhaps something is happening in their personal life, and they’re unaware that the emotional hardships are spilling into their work.
- Keep it professional – Don’t let your emotions seep into confrontation. Remember, you have a business relationship with this person, not a personal relationship, and this employee was hired to do a job. Offer suggestions for improvement, and remind the employee that while everyone isn’t expected to get along, everyone must be respectful and courteous in effort to promote a productive and positive work environment.
Addressing a problem employee is all about the follow through. Don’t wait until you’ve lost control to have an open and honest conversation.