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How to Deal with Difficult Staff Members

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Thu, Jul 06, 2017 @ 02:32 PM

Hire a Motivational SpeakerDifficult employees make up less than 5 percent of most teams and yet they negatively impact morale more than others.

Most leaders simply shrug their shoulders and pretend difficult team members aren't a problem. But they are. They are dragging down morale and productivity overall. Most difficult people are this way for a reason, it get's them attention and often gets them out of work they don't want to do.

Below are Tips to Deal with Difficult Staff:

  • Identify the facts. Never speak in generalities. It's not fair to dance around general feelings or personal bias. You can't manage based on generalities. Instead, pinpoint specific difficult behaviors
  • Keep your opinions to yourself. Labeling someone as lazy will just make them angry. Instead, look at what behaviors they display that makes you think they are lazy. 
  • Help people understand this behavior and how it impacts others and give them the opportunity to improve. 
  • You will only ignite defensiveness by calling people out in public, instead address difficult employees in a private, separate conversation.
  • Most people don't wake up and think I can't wait to ruin people's day.  They don't set out to be difficult. It's more like engrained in their work patterns, they are difficult because the behavior gets them what they want. If the difficult behavior is showing up late, they get to show up late. If the difficult person loses control or demands a lot of attention, what they get is attention. 

Tell people you are onto them, you know what they get out of being difficult and that it must stop. 

Self-awareness is the key to change, so we have to help people see how their behavior negatively impacts the team.

Most importantly, deal with difficult people. The longer they get to carry on difficult behaviors the greater the negative impact on morale.

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