Have a Difficult Employee? 5 Tips to Help You Manage Them

As an employer, the dream is to have multiple employees who need minimal training, know exactly what they need to do, and help ease some stress in your life. Although those employees do exist, some end up causing more stress and issues than anything.

Do you have a problematic employee? Chances are, you either currently have one, have dealt with one, or there is one in your future. How you manage your difficult employee can make or break the relationship.

If you currently have a difficult employee working for you, check out the following five tips to help manage them from CBS-CBS.com.

Keep Listening

When you’re faced with someone who challenges your patience, it’s easy to tune them out and not listen. However, losing your patience with the person won’t solve any problems. Instead of tuning them out, try closely listening. You may find that the reason they are difficult for you in the first place comes down to lack of communication.

Document Any Issues

Whether you’re documenting behaviors to acknowledge later, or providing evidence for termination, documenting any issues you have with an employee is crucial.

When you have documentation to reference, you can sit with the said employee and break down any behaviors that need addressing and moving forward. If it does come to a termination, you have the files to back your decision.

Offer Room for Improvement

A problematic employee that never receives feedback will likely never realize the frustration they’re causing you. It’s imperative that you, as the manager, provide feedback to the employee and offer room for improvement.

In many circumstances, the employee doesn’t know that they’re doing something wrong or that there’s a more efficient way to perform their task. It’s up to you to ensure there is room for improvement before more issues develop down the road.

Set Consequences If Needed

In some situations, there need to be clear consequences set to ensure improvement. Although it’s not something anyone wants to go through, setting consequences helps show that the difficulties with the employee are serious and need addressing.

Consequences can range from a written warning, losing eligibility for a promotion, or even termination. Ensure that they are clearly communicated to the employee so they know that something will happen if there is no improvement.

Keep Tabs on Progress

To foster a positive environment for improvement, an important step you must take is monitoring the progress and offering praise when deserved. If you’re both serious about resolving any issues and seeing performance improvement, offering praise when deserved can help motivate the employee.

Monitoring progress is also important to see actual improvements are happening. If you see little to no progress or the situation is getting worse, it may be time to make some difficult decisions.

You must take the time to communicate with the problematic employee and ensure they have room and time for improvement. Termination should be your last resort to avoid any wrongful termination lawsuits.

However, it’s also important to recognize you’re in a hopeless situation, you’ve done everything in your power to help with improvements, yet there is no change, that termination is the next step.

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