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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5. Be honest and candid.

Candor (frankness) is simply the most underutilized tool in the manager’s toolkit. Too often managers can’t handle honesty and conflict, so they tap-dance around issues until eventually they need to fire the employee. Usually, to the employees’ complete surprise since their manager never properly managed their performance.

Richard O’Malley, President at The O’Malley Project: @TOProject

6. Don’t let it get worse.

Allowing a situation to fester in hopes it will work itself out is a huge mistake. Always remember, a spark can quickly become a fire. Meet with the employee privately as soon as you become aware of the issue. Seek to identify the specific nature of the problem. Once uncovered, be direct about the solution, establish clear guidelines regarding behavior going forward and the consequences for non-compliance. Also, document the discussion and agreed upon resolution.

Treivor Branch, CEO at The Branch Solution LLC: @WorkplaceDrama

7. Think first, act later.

Think first about the result you want, and build your communication accordingly. I’ve seen a lot of bosses let loose on someone they are dissatisfied with despite the fact that they are providing value. If someone has crossed the line, think about whether you want him or her out of your company, or if it’s worth attempting to get them back on track.

Karlin Sloan, CEO and Author of Smarter, Faster, Better, Unfear: @KarlinSloan

 

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