Five Steps For Dealing With Difficult Employees
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Five Steps For Dealing With Difficult Employees

A To-Do List For Dealing With Difficult Employees Effectively

So, some very basic things from our point of view, very practical things that we can do– a master to-do list of how we’re going to approach dealing with difficult employees. This works when we’re dealing with difficult employees both as an individual and as a unit.

  1. Create an environment where there are no surprises. If the employee is surprised – if you haven’t talked to the employee and the last time you did was last year’s evaluation, and so, this year’s evaluation, they’re going to be surprised, then you know you got problems. And the gossip, the grapevine is going to be even more destructive. If you come out of an evaluation and the bad employee is surprised, you’re in trouble. You come out of evaluation and the good employee is surprised. They’ve been good all year and didn’t know it. There’s just no excuse for that lazy management.
  2. Regular meetings, again, the communication. If there’s a gap in communication, they’ll fill it with the negative. So, try to avoid as many gaps. Weekly staff meetings, “Here’s what’s the six most important things we’re supposed to do today, this week, this month.”
  3. Stop giving or accepting excuses when dealing with difficult employees. Have an agenda. Do not ask, “Why or why not?” when someone surprises you with non-performance. Rather than accepting, “You see, because of this or this or this” again, we’re creating an atmosphere for positive communication and dealing with difficult employees. Allow people to say, “No” to requested commitments only when they can provide a solution of how they will get it done. What you’ll find is so much of this stuff plays off of us. And it’s a direct reflection on us.
  4. Give and get specific dates, commitments repeated, eliminate the use of the phrase, “I’ll try” or, “I’ll give it my best.” And the response to that, “I know you’re going to try it but what I need to know is can I count on you for your results?”
  5. And if they continue with this behavior issue, pattern, complaining, whining, rolling eyes and moaning, “I’ll try”, then you may have to say, “Okay, that’s it. Here is your job. You’ve got X amount of time. We’ll give you reasonable time to clean up your act but you’ve got to decide, behave, become productive, quit or fire yourself.”

Edited Remarks from “Gossip, Gab, and the Grapevine: How to Neutralize Its Negative Impact” by Hunter Lott

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