Monitoring Difficult Employees

Employees come from all walks of life and there is no guarantee that when you hire someone, they’re going to do their job to the standard that you want. Some employees are reluctant to pull their weight, while others are so haphazard with their workload that they end up making monumental mistakes that could cost your company and its reputation.

If you have a difficult employee and are in the process of monitoring them, there are a number of ways to do so.

Act quickly

Take the appropriate amount of time needed to evaluate the situation before you act. After all the last thing you want is to make a bad situation any worse.

The first stages involve some or all of the below:

·         Call monitoring

·         Video surveillance

·         Computer monitoring

The legal bit

At present most laws enable employers to monitor employee activity surreptitiously. This is because as an employer you own the communication services provided to your employees, so you legally have the right to monitor them.

Taking action from here

Once it’s clear that something serious is going on with the employee (and there is evidence to prove that their behaviour is not showing signs of improvement), then the candidate must be issued with an official warning.

1.       Issue a verbal warning

This is usually applied for a minor offence, or formal disciplinary procedures wish to be avoided. Such warnings can have a validity period of between 1 and 3 months.

2.       Issue a written warning

If a verbal warning doesn’t do the job, then a written warning must be prepared. The employee must be informed of what action is required to rectify the situation, and a specified period of monitoring must be scheduled.

3.       Issue a final written warning

During this stage it is your responsibility to consistently deal with the situation. If the issue has not been resolved as outlined in the written warning, the employee can be issued with a final written warning that essentially says: ‘if this doesn’t work, you’re out.’

This is a serious matter and should only be issued if the individual has failed to achieve the desired result.


It must be very clear to the employee where management stands and what action is required of them from here. 




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