How to Deal with Problem Employees Effectively
Every office has at least one of these. Employees who are troublesome, and argumentative, and contribute to a hostile environment, need dealing with quickly. Neglecting such employees simply results in an increasingly toxic work environment, which ultimately results in litigation against your company. For instance, failure to step in and correct a boorish employee, could result in a workplace assault incident, allegations of sexual harassment, and a whole host of other headaches for you.
In such cases, it is best to act as quickly as possible. However, it is also important to be diplomatic and tactful when you handle a troublesome employee.
In far too many cases, employers simply choose to ignore such employees, especially when they have a good track record, or deliver results for the company. This is a huge mistake. These are problems that do not go away. Instead, these problems can fester, resulting in employment law-related challenges for you in the near future.
Instead of ignoring the problem, intervene to take action as quickly as possible. In some cases, the person may genuinely not be aware that his behavior is causing a problem for you or for others in the office. It is important to bring his behavior to his notice, and to make it clear to him that his behavior and actions very often affect the office environment negatively.
However, before you speak to him about his behavior, it is important to ascertain that a problem clearly exists. While it is not recommended to ignore a problem involving a problem employee, it is also not recommended that you make a mountain out of a molehill, exaggerating a small issue, and blowing it out of proportion. For this reason, it is important that you take personal interest in this matter, and research it thoroughly, instead of simply delegating the matter to a supervisor or manager.
Once you have broached the subject with the employee, give him time to understand that there is a problem and that he needs to change his behavior. This allows him time to respond to the allegations against him. As an employer, you can also make efforts to help him give up these negative behaviors by using coaching techniques, and enlisting the help of your human resources department.