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Managing Difficult Employees: Don’t Let Frustration Win

February 23rd, 2018

As a manager, it’s inevitable. You get someone on your team who tries your patience and wears you out, whether it’s due to inconsistent performance or a personality you clash with. As a result, you end up spending more time managing them, and less time on the rest of your team and with your other priorities.

As one of Columbia, SC’s top HR consulting firms, TRUE Group knows the good news is you don’t have to let frustration win. In fact, there are some steps you can take to rectify the situation and get your employee back on track. Here’s a look at a few of them:

Talk to your employee.

Make sure you have a clear understanding of what’s going on. Perhaps they’re underperforming due to a lack of training. Or maybe there are personal issues going on at home, so they’re lashing out at work. Whatever the case, you’re not going to be able to solve anything if you don’t get to the root cause of the problem – including understanding their point of view.

Offer clear feedback.

They might not understand the impact they’re having on productivity or the team. While you don’t want to berate them, you do want to be clear about the issues you’re seeing, giving specific examples. While giving constructive feedback can be tough, it’s also essential if you want your employee to understand where you’re coming from and why you need them to change their ways.

Talk about next steps and document them.

Once you’ve laid out the issues and talked with your employee, discuss next steps going forward. These depend on each unique situation; however, you should be clear about potential consequences if you don’t see a positive change. At this point, it’s also important to document the discussion and the outcome so you can better monitor it going forward. This will also help to provide protection in case you need to let the employee go down the line.

Monitor regularly and be consistent with correction.

The key to ensuring your employee stays on track is to keep a close eye on them and check in regularly. If you see an issue, correct it. Don’t let bad behavior rear its ugly head again. If you do, then you’re sending inconsistent messages to your employee that their behavior isn’t really that big of an issue.

Know when it’s time to move on.

You want your employee to improve and become a valuable team member. However, if the bad behavior continues – despite your best efforts – then you’ll need to cut them loose so they don’t continue to poison the rest of your team. While this can be a tough decision to make, if you followed the tips above, you can rest easy you did all you could to salvage the situation.

Need more help with these and other HR-related issues?

Contact the team at TRUE Group. As one of Columbia, SC’s top HR consulting firms, we can help you with a wide variety of human resource and staffing issues, all to positively impact your productivity and your bottom line. To learn more, simply contact us today.


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