Has one of your employee’s performance started to lag? Is he or she angry or complaining about work?
Do other employees avoid working with him/her? Resentment rises amongst the other staff as incomplete work builds up and they have to work overtime to get it done.
Here’s the scenario I received:
“I work with an employee that doesn’t have the skillset to perform the job tasks he was hired to complete on a daily basis and it’s frustrating. I have to spend extra time during my day to work on his projects and weekends too. He doesn’t contribute to meetings and if he does so it has nothing to do with the issues that have been outlined in the agenda. Help!” Anonymous
Nearly every manager has encountered at least one employee that doesn’t perform well at their job. It’s common for one (or more) employees to have difficulty getting along with others, or works hard at tasks which fall short of expectations.
As a manager, you can support your employee by following these suggestions.
Here, then, are 5 things that excellent managers do when confronted with a difficult employee – things that keep them from getting sucked into an endless vortex of ineffectiveness and frustration:
Set aside time to talk, listen and ask questions. Find out why he or she seems off and not performing up to the standards of the position. Is it a personal or professional issue?
Once you’ve determined the issues, give feedback and offer solutions. What help can be offered to support the employee through HR?
Document all written and verbal conversations that you can revert back to during the time the employee takes to get back on track. Follow up. If it’s more on the professional side, set up a plan for guidance.
Manage self-talk and conversations with the team employee. By undermining your employee you undermine their future. If you need to discuss concerns, approach support up the chain of command not down. This is common practice in the military to prevent a breakdown in the team.
Set consequences, be courageous and accept when you need let an employee go. I get it, it isn’t easy. If the situation reaches that point, do it right. Never make excuses, put it off, or make someone else do it. Great managers do the tough things impeccably. And hopefully, the employee turns around, be courageous enough to accept that; sometimes being proved wrong when we think someone can’t or won’t change is almost as hard as being proved right. Replacing an employee is costly but if the employee doesn’t take action and plays a victim you may have to seriously consider letting the employee go. Make sure you follow procedure in doing so. Consult HR or ask your direct supervisor for assistance.
If you learn to use these effective manager approaches when you have a difficult employee, then no matter how things turn out, you’ll end up knowing that you’ve done your best in a tough situation. And that may be the best stress reducer of all. A great win for the team. a big win if you get to keep this employee. They will appreciate your efforts.
Have you been in this situation before? How did you handle it? What solutions can you provide to support our community here.
Have a great week and stay tuned for next week’s topic or take a peek at my recent video 5 Strategies to Help You Work WITH a Difficult Employee.