A Collection of Resources, Tools and Tips on Managing Problem Employees
written by: Michael Guerrero•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 10/14/2011
As a manager, you will have to deal with problem employees at some point. Use our guide to recognizing and managing problem employees to help make this process easier and prevent losses at your workplace.
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Employees With Attitude Problems
It's an unavoidable fact that there will be one or more employees that come to your business and end up with a bad attitude. All managers will have to deal with them at some point; it's simply the nature of the beast. Managers need to prepare for these employees by familiarizing themselves with all the legal forms for disciplining or firing their employees as well as recognizing and differentiating problem behavior.
All of these factors are very important because a mild outburst or ongoing problems require very different techniques to overcome. Here, our guide to employees who are problematic will help keep your workplace peaceful and comfortable for all.
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Preventing Workplace Problems
It's important to prevent as many problems as you can - right off the bat. Creating a work environment where your employees know their actions hold consequences for themselves or for the workplace is important. Having these measures in place will help in providing a mature work environment where employees don't have to worry about harassment or discrimination.
A good manager will need to use a variety of strategies to create a solid disciplinary infrastructure and manage employees so they remain motivated on the task at hand. Idle hands are the devil's play things so keeping them focused is a great way to prevent office drama.
Problem behavior takes many forms and some aren't so easily recognized. Though it's easy to label an employee as bad, it's not so easy to discern what's causing the behavior. Often times, that behavior is brought on by stress, personal issues, and their outlook on the business. Knowing the difference will allow you to improve upon your business' work environment or simply talk through the issue with your employee.
Some techniques for recognizing a problem are regular performance appraisals and talking to your employees. This will establish an open line of communication between you and your employee allowing feedback to be passed along and will also help in preventing a lot of problems before they even begin.
Bad employees are, by nature, difficult to deal with. However, it's important that you learn what's causing their behaviour and whether or not it's manageable. Working closely with your employees to turn their attitude around makes a considerable difference and will save you the trouble of having to replace them. Remember to get feedback from your employees and work with them in order to resolve issues. If there's no working with them, formal disciplinary action needs to be taken to stem the problem behaviour.
Familiarize yourself with the various options available to you and choose to exercise which one fits the situation most appropriately. Always remember to be cautious and evaluate the situation enough to choose what's best for the situation to prevent employee turnover and keep your employees on the right track.
It's important for a manager to fill out the proper paperwork when disciplining an employee. Warnings, reprimands, and other notices of problem behavior will help tremendously both from a managerial and legal stand-point. Keeping your paper work in order will allow you to better choose the appropriate action(s) for repeat offenders. It also creates a paper trail that will become useful should an employee challenge your disciplinary decision.
There are several forms of written warning and reprimands available to managers they need to study in order to discern their meanings and what situations they are most appropriately used. A good manager will always be able to utilize multiple warnings in order to prevent miscommunication between both parties.
If a problem employee has become a lost cause and their behavior is slowing production and causing a problem within the office, it's time to send them packing. Firing an employee is a delicate process with a lot of legal red tape managers need to be aware of.
Managers need to take the time to familiarize themselves with the legality of firing an employee and deciding whether or not the action is appropriate to the problem.