WORKPLACE / JUN. 07, 2013
version 39, draft 39

How to Deal with Difficult Employees

Many employers often have to handle employees who are exceptionally difficult to deal with. In order to maintain a professional work environment and encourage productivity, it is vital that employers address difficult employees. Individuals who are impolite, condescending, misleading, inappropriate and moody are often the cause of frustrated colleagues and an unproductive team.

Employers are advised to deal with difficult and unprofessional colleagues in their first opportunity in order to avoid detrimental effects on others who work in the same environment. The following are some tips to deal with employees who are problematic and unproductive in the workplace:

  • Identify the problem: employers should recognize and identify a colleague who is posing an issue within the workplace. This is important since many employers choose to undermine the power of an individual to bring down the whole department. Employers should recognize the issue and not ignore it as it can have negative effects in the long term.
  • Tune into your employees: in order to effectively and successfully combat a difficult individual, employers should observe the workplace environment carefully. In the event that one employee has complained about another, it is advised to listen to them without being biased. Give the employee support and understand their issue and ensure them that you will look into it.
  • Research the issue personally: through carefully monitoring the said-difficult colleague, employers can make sure that they are observing the right individual’s behavior. Employers should never listen to rumors and are advised to corroborate every bit of information they are provided with before approaching an individual. In the event that you are the one being affected by a difficult employee, it is recommended to observe their attitude towards others to validate their behavior in the workplace.
  • Address the employee: once you have identified and recognized the problem, it is advised to address it at the earliest opportunity. The best method of dealing with this issue is by scheduling an appointment with the individual and carefully informing them of the plan of action. It is important to be sensitive towards the employee as they are likely to be unaware of their problematic attitude in the workplace.
  • Terminate if necessary: in the event that the difficult employee does not demonstrate a change in attitude, the employer might have to take a more serious course of action such as terminating their employment. It is advised that termination is the last resort for employers as it is better to resolve a conflict within the workplace than lose an experienced and skilled employee.

It is advised that employers address and deal with difficult employees to demonstrate a professional attitude in the workplace. If employers choose to ignore the problem, it is likely to become a progressive issue thus resulting in long term consequences. Therefore employers should identify and manage problematic employees at the earliest possible stage

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