Management Tips: 7 Ways to Deal with Difficult Employees

If you've found it difficult to deal with problem employees and you're unsure what to do next, here are seven tips to help you manage the situation and...

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Dealing with people is difficult.

When you employ those same ‘difficult people,’ it can become problematic.

Managing employees that are ‘behaving badly’ is the last thing that entrepreneurs want to address. However, correctly managing people and performance issues is essential to productivity, team morale and your peace of mind.

If you’ve found it difficult to deal with problem employees and you’re unsure what to do next, here are seven tips to help you manage the situation and regain sanity.

1. Preclude problems by setting expectations upfront.

When a new employee joins your organization, explain the performance expectations. This goes beyond job description. Focus on measurable results — daily, weekly and monthly activities — customer service standards, professionalism, etc. Then hold them to it. When there is a slip, have a conversation and have the employee provide the solution and immediate correction. Hold them accountable.

Andrea Herran, Principal at Focus HR Consulting: @FocusHR

2. Concentrate on tangible actions.

Focus on observable behavior, while being mindful not to become sidetracked by intangible motivations such as attitudes or stereotypes. Finally, avoid the traps many managers fall into of shouldering the solution to the problem by themselves or putting the employee in a sink or swim situation.

Rick Dacri, HR Consultant at Dacri & Associates LLC: @RickDacri

3. Have an open dialogue.

Leaders must create an environment that supports an open, no-surprises, continuous dialogue between associates and their supervisor. Be open, consistent and to the point. Hold employees and yourself accountable.

Marvin A. Russell, President at Marv Russell and Partners LLC: @MarvRussell

4. Provide immediate feedback.

It is incumbent upon leaders to provide specific, clear, and timely feedback to their employees. Any conflicts or disciplinary actions should be addressed immediately through specific action plans and consistent follow through, ensuring respect for the individual(s) involved, as well as any other employees who may be affected by unsatisfactory behavior.

Kimberly Meninger, Certified Coach at Great Heights Coaching: @GrtHtsCoaching

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