Managing a difficult staff member


Managing a difficult member of staff is not an easy task but what can be worse is not addressing it and letting it continue. TMSAP

When a child kicks and screams because they want sweets and the parents give it to them, what will happen the next time the child wants sweets? This can be the case when employee’s act out when they are disagreed with or don’t get what they want.

Everyone has their ‘off days’, whether it is stress from the job or reasons outside of work. It can become a problem when it is a continuous behaviour from a member of staff, making it difficult for those working with them or around them.


So how do you tackle these situations?

1. Evaluate the individual case and decipher whether it is an consistent behaviour or a one off. Take time to assess the situation and the best way to approach the individual


2. Take time to gather facts before you address the issue and don’t go off rumours or gossip. This is certainly the case if you have not witnessed the behaviour first hand. By gathering as much information as you can this can also give an insight as to why this is a reoccurring problem.


3. Confront the problem or it could lead to either more serious problems or it affecting more staff and therefore disturbing the performance of others. Plan an appropriate time to discuss the problem with the individual and whether you will need to bring others in the meeting such as HR?


4. When it comes to speaking to them, be clear as to why you are addressing them, supplying the facts. Listen to their reasons behind it and don’t be aggressive to them. Focus on wording such as “I need the team to work together to get the best results” rather than “you aren’t a good team player.


5. A solution needs to be reached. Put them question to them and ask them what they think can be done. If they have acknowledged they are partly responsible for the problem, they are more likely to provide an effective solution


6. Follow up and ensure whatever measures have been put in place to solve the problem, are being carried out and completed. If it is not, it will need to be readdressed and the above process repeated.


7. In some instances, you will need to realise the problem can’t be resolved. If the employee continues to be difficult and is unwilling to change their behaviour, causing continuous negative affect on the team and company, termination procedures will need to be started.