Managing difficult Employees in Business:- Your project could go well, but a tough employee spoils the good atmosphere within the team and ruins everyone’s work. You are aware that you must treat the problem, but you feel helpless in this situation and you do not know how to react.
What is meant by Difficult Employees?
There are several types of difficult employee and you have probably already faced one (or more) of them:
- Anyone with interpersonal problems
- He who shows insubordination and questions authority
- One who is lazy and counter productive
- One who lacks assiduity or punctuality
- He who makes believe everything is fine but thinks no less
- The one that is direct, angry, aggressive and negative.
- The one who constantly plays the victims
- Whoever has a problem with alcohol or drugs
The impact of this type of employee on the development of the project and on the atmosphere within your team is harmful. These include decreased productivity and / or efficiency, decreased quality of work, decreased performance, degradation of the working environment, tensions and conflicts among members of the organization, team, or even the demotivating and frustration of some members of the team.
In any case, the difficult employee deteriorates the working atmosphere within the team, creates tensions, and prevents everyone from doing his job properly. His behavior is problematic and unacceptable and you must act as quickly as possible.
To avoid losing your credibility as a project leader and leader, forget the strategy of avoidance because the problem will not solve itself.
You will not be able to change the personality of this difficult collaborator, but you must contain its overflows.
Discover how to manage these strong heads that pollute your work environment, undermine the morale of your collaborators and jeopardize your project.
Look for the Cause of his Behavior
Stop avoiding this angry collaborator. Your role and duty as a project manager is to confront it. The first thing to do is to understand why he is doing this before trying to find a solution.
Some employees may become temporarily difficult due to stress at work or because they are experiencing a problematic family situation. On the other hand, for others, this is a recurring problem due to their personality. What about your hard-working collaborator: contextual situation or personality problem?
On what Occasions does it Pose a Problem?
Observe the behavior of this painful collaborator and determine the context that highlights his aggressive side. Is it constantly so or only when it is in the presence of certain persons or when it carries out certain tasks?
Do not focus solely on his negative actions, but consider why he is considered a difficult personality.
Keep it or Separate it?
Now that you’ve identified the cause and the context, it’s time to decide if you want to separate from that strong head or if you think it’s possible to improve its behavior, or at least contain its overflows.
If the employee’s attitude is totally harmful to the progress of your project as well as to the well-being of your team, and in addition you think that his skills are not indispensable and that he is replaceable, separation is certainly the best option.
On the other hand, if, despite his / her inappropriate behavior, the employee is endowed with a desired talent, a competence essential to your project or an exceptional experience, and you feel that it deserves its place within the ” team, it must change attitude and you have to help it.
Meet the Difficult Collaborator
Once your decision is made regarding the future envisaged with this problematic personality, it is time to meet her.
For this, you have to prepare yourself upstream in order to convey your message in the best way possible. Stay neutral, and avoid talking about rumors or your personal perception, but rely on concrete facts and tangible results.
Practice constructive feedback in order to say things thoughtfully and discerningly. Take care to focus on improvement and do not lay charges.
Ideally, have a human resource advisor accompany you.
To Achieve Constructive Feedback, Follow these Steps:
- Interact with the person using the “I”. For example, “I do not understand what you say,” rather than “you are incomprehensible.”
- Introduce them to concrete facts and tangible results;
- Gather his reactions;
- Explain the impact of his / her behavior on his or her colleagues and the progress of the project;
- Note his reactions;
- Select two to three attitudes to improve in the short term;
- Involve it in the search for solutions and establish together a plan of action that must be followed rigorously.
Follow his Progress
Your role does not stop after the meeting, on the contrary. Follow the hard-working collaborator in the implementation of the action plan, meet him regularly and evaluate his progress in improving his behavior. Your rigor in this follow-up stage is a determining factor of success.
Depending on the severity of the situation, you can also offer a professional training or coaching session.
Also, put in place a code of good conduct, also called a relational charter that clearly defines what you expect from all members of your team in terms of human relationships, respect for others, and so on.
Sanction it if Nothing Changes
Finally, if you do not see any improvement in the behavior of the hard-working collaborator, or if you do so, you must take the necessary disciplinary measures: in this order, warning, verbal notice, written notice, suspension (with or without pay), and dismissal.
Avoid hasty decisions, such as dismissal, that could have negative consequences for the organization and the work environment as well as your leadership.
Courage, perseverance and rigor are essential to effectively manage a difficult collaborator. Treat the problem as soon as possible so you do not lose your credibility and leadership with your team and know how to take the appropriate sanctions for repeat offenders.