Hard Work: Dealing with Difficult Employees

Unfortunately, no matter how stringent or foolproof your recruitment process is, you’re bound to get some problematic employees along the way in your business. Because the reality is that people put their best foot forward when trying to snag the job. Nonetheless, what’s important isn’t avoiding difficult people; it’s dealing with them. That said, if you encounter these types of “bad employees,” make sure to have a concrete action plan about addressing their issues:

Chronic Complainers

By the label, you probably already know who these people are. They’re the ones who are constantly grumbling about anything and everything. Nothing ever pleases them. What’s worse about them is that they plant seeds of negativity in employees who do good and are content with their jobs. When these types of bad employees aren’t addressed, they might raise an army of chronic complainers in your workplace. So how do you deal with them? For one, you can redirect their whining energy to something productive. When they complain about a new strategy or a colleague they’ve been working with, throw them the challenge of coming up with a solution. Ask them, “How do you suggest that we solve this problem?” What you’re doing here is communicating to them that you’re listening to their concerns. At the same time, you’re forcing them to think and find ways to solve issues. This will hopefully reduce their complaints. Reward their efforts and with a great employee incentive program.

Busy Bludgers

These are the ones who go to the office but never do any of the work. They go to the scheduled brainstorming sessions, participate in huddles, and reply to e-mails, but when you measure their output, they never really deliver what’s expected of them. When they’re not giving the appearance of being busy, they’re indeed preoccupied — with riding on other people’s work. How do you address this? First, prioritize your monthly performance assessments. Sit down with them and give them the stats or figures. With the numbers, you can challenge them to change how they work. But note that before doing this, you should be able to ask them why they think that their performance is low. They might be sincerely preoccupied with things that they feel contribute to their job. Once that blind spot is identified, perhaps they’ll be able to find their way back to productivity.

Grumpy Gossipers

people talking about a coworker

Gossip kills positive company culture. It strains relationships among employees. Finally, it can damage someone’s reputation. So don’t let gossip make your business a toxic environment. At the heart of it, gossip thrives because of bitterness. Someone didn’t get a promotion. Another wanted to get ahead of the competition. In these cases, your HR department has to do the dirty work of trying to untangle personal issues to soothe emotions. You should also make sure that the rest of the workforce is aware of the consequences of spreading false, malicious information.

Do You Have Difficult Employees?

In the end, no workplace is perfect. You will always find employees who are very hard to tolerate. In your case, deal with them with grace and professionalism.