5 Free Tips for Dealing with Difficult Staff

A worker who fails to act responsibly or professionally in the job is frequently referred to as a ‘difficult employee’. Someone who is difficult to work with could be unmotivated, disobedient, defensive, obstructive, abusive, or nasty. One of the biggest problems managers have to deal with is handling these types of employees effectively. So how can you deal with these difficult staff members?

Communicate with the Difficult Staff Member

When an employee exhibits undesirable behaviour, managers must make sure that they immediately warn them orally or informally and provide a clear explanation of why the behaviour is unacceptable, as well as what is expected of them. To bolster the information presented, instances of improper behaviour should be provided. This type of negative behaviour may also affect your existing staff, especially if the individual is nasty or rude.

You don’t want your existing staff to leave as a result of this. Thus, you should also communicate with the rest of your team regarding the difficult staff member and the course of action you will be taking with them.

Work with the Difficult Staff Member

When you discuss a difficult staff member’s behaviour with them, the ideal outcome is that the two of you collaborate to find a solution that you both approve of. Find out what the employee needs from you to change, then talk about the inappropriate behaviour and what the correct behaviour looks like. Reach a fix for the problem.

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Set Specific Consequences for the Difficult Staff Member

If you don’t provide clear repercussions and if the conduct doesn’t change within the specified timeframe, your plan for improvement with a challenging employee may probably fail. A formal written warning, being ineligible for promotions or bonuses, and, in more serious cases, losing their job are all possible consequences.

If the behaviours have progressed to the point where an informal warning is required, it would be wise to record this in the manager’s records. This might be classified as an informal warning, or it might even be a step or two before issuing any kind of warning to your difficult staff member. Employees are unlikely to alter their conduct unless doing so will negatively affect them. Contact us to help you set some consequences!

Track the Progress of the Difficult Staff Member

Allow the staff the time they require to behave appropriately. Keep an eye on their development through that time and note any problems or relapses. Check-in as often as necessary to better understand how they are doing with the agreed-upon plan and take action if they go off course. Plan a thorough in-person evaluation to talk about how the situation has evolved after the period from which your plan has passed.

The Final Resort

Realistically, there will be occasions when it isn’t possible to change an employee’s behaviour in order to increase the team’s happiness and productivity. If your earlier attempts to intervene have failed and the employee won’t alter their behaviour, you must follow your company’s termination policy. You must follow a fair and reasonable process when determining whether to fire a worker. If an employee files a claim for unfair dismissal and the matter proceeds to an employment tribunal, the employer’s practices will be taken into consideration. Thus, you should always be aware of your dismissal rights.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, today, I have discussed the best ways to deal with a difficult staff member. It can feel overwhelming at times and can come with feelings of hopelessness. However, if you follow my advice, you will be able to handle this with decorum and grace. You can terminate the individual’s contract if the worst comes to worst. You must always be conscious of your rights, so you don’t let someone go without following the correct processes.

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