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Let’s face it, no matter how meticulous your hiring process you will usually run across at least one employee in your career who is difficult to work with. They may have problems taking directions or working well with others. Whatever the case it is up to you as their manager to make sure their behavior does not affect the overall production of the team or affect your business.

6 Tips for Managing Your Most Difficult Employees.

  1. Don’t ignore the problem. It won’t go away. You need to take action immediately in order to stop a problem in its tracks. Confrontation can be hard, but don’t be afraid to discuss the problem with the employees involved.
  2. Don’t believe rumors. Before you go off to put a stop to the problem, make sure it is really a problem. When you approach the employee in question don’t immediate start accusing them based on the information you’ve been told. Ask them for their side of the story.
  3. Always maintain professionalism. Abusive language or bullying behavior is never the right way to manage anyway much less problem employees. Do your best to maintain your composure and discuss the situation as an adult, even if it is reciprocated.
  4. Don’t take it personally. Also recognize that the problem employee may decide to launch into a personal attack, but don’t take the attack personally. They want to get a reaction out of you so if you give them one it will only justify their position. Keep things civil.
  5. Use your coaching skills. At any chance you get make the situation a teachable moment. Encourage them to see the other side, explain the situation without attacking anyone, or taking time out to think about it.
  6. Don’t be afraid to make a hard choice. If conversations and coaching opportunities don’t solve the problem you need to be ready to take the next step. Terminating a problem employee, especially if they are unwilling to reform their behavior, can be the best choice for the wellbeing of the entire office.

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