Employees who are difficult to work with exist in every company. It is costly to fire them. Termination implies that you’re discarding everything of that tough employee’s training, experience, and company knowledge. The time and overall expense of finding a successor, interviewing all applicants, screening them, recruiting, training, and bringing them up to the level of a dismissed employee is frequently twice their income. Then there are the legal ramifications of firing, which might result in increased legal fees as a result of defensive legal action. In this article, we’ll discuss how to manage difficult employees?


Problem Employee Behaviors: What They Are and What They Aren’t?

Employees can engage in a variety of actions that put other people and the company at danger. The following are some examples:


  • Gossiping. Gossip – This is a term used to describe the behavior of someone who routinely discloses personal or sensational information about others, whether true or not.
  • Indulging in General Incivility or Arrogance – Making insulting and disparaging words; using angry, aggressive tones; berating workers and colleagues in front of others; and shouting, smashing items, or slamming doors when upset are examples of impolite, disrespectful speech or behaviors, as well as physical intimidation.
  • Bullying – Bullying is characterized by continuous abusive and frightening conduct or unjust behaviors directed at a single individual, making the receiver feel frightened, mistreated, humiliated, or vulnerable. It is about being authoritative, over another person usually a direct report, but also anyone who appears to be weaker.
  • Showing Signs of Disobedience – An employee’s purposeful unwillingness to obey an employer’s legitimate and reasonable directives is referred to as insubordination. This can take the form of a single event that warrants reprimand or termination, or a succession of minor incidents that gradually weaken a supervisor’s authority.


Taking Care of Problematic Staff –

Determine whether they are tough or impossible to work with. Unfortunately, the boundary between tough and impossible is razor-thin, and managers must intervene once someone crosses into the “impossible” zone. Management has the ability to coach, mentor, and even discipline “difficult,” but “impossible” usually results in termination. So, what can you do to manage difficult employee? To begin, ensure that you are hiring and vetting procedures are thorough. The more difficult it is for an applicant to find work, the more likely you are to eliminate a potentially terrible employee. Make sure you and your other managers spend enough time with them, depending on the role you’re filling, to make the best possible recruiting decisions.


What Should you do if a Current Employee Becomes Difficult?

Now let’s look at present employees that have grown difficult to work with. Recognize that people may act irrationally in order to gain attention. They are preoccupied with their own demands, and the needs of others are usually a distant second. Their emotional immaturity is a natural part of who they are, and it’s up to you to figure out how to make them more productive.

The emotional immaturity of a difficult employee leads to a number of inappropriate behaviors that can demoralize people around them. Some may use sarcasm, some may use insults, and yet others may be confrontational and call people names. Keep in mind that each of these strategies is an attempt by difficult individuals to feel superior. Unfortunately, they do so at the expense of their coworkers, resulting in a reduction in total productivity.

Difficult employees’ gripe about their position in life and waste a lot of time whining and exaggerating little concerns. They point the finger at others for failures while carefully omitting data about their own responsibilities in disastrous endeavors. By playing the victim, these employees avoid having to confront their own shortcomings, and they will never learn to overcome them until and until their actions are addressed.


Strategies to Manage Difficult Employees –


  • Pay attention to what they’re saying. Talking to them and finding out what’s really going on is the only way to uncover their unmet needs.
  • To be sure you comprehend what they’re saying, write down what you think they’re saying. Hearing their difficulties explained by someone else might sometimes make them understand how minor their issues are. When people hear things from someone else’s point of view, they may come up with their own answer.
  • Assist the challenging person in formulating an optimum course of action by assessing the benefits and drawbacks and considering the broader picture.
  • Assist them in achieving short-term goals in order to boost their self-esteem and confidence in their ability to solve problems.
  • Determine what is causing their erratic conduct. Is it an object, a person, or a job? Assist them in addressing the trigger and overcoming the negative consequences.
  • Determine if there is a pattern to the challenging conduct. When something “lights the fuse” at work or at home, the most problematic people act out.
  • Maintain an optimistic attitude. Getting negative feeds their want for undivided attention.
  • Use only facts and leave emotions out of it.

Anything you do, don’t try to persuade them to quit. If you believe they are worth the effort, which you believe they are, try using punishment and counseling to manage difficult employees. If that doesn’t work and you’ve tried all other choices, it’s time to begin the process of terminating your employment. It’s the least fun aspect of managing, yet it’s sometimes necessary.

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