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6 Tips for Managing a Challenging Employee

To better manage your staff we’ve compiled 6 tips for managing a challenging employee.

Some employees are more challenging than others…

Making awesome hires is key to help you stay on top of your game. Unfortunately, things won’t always run smoothly and you might experience staff issues. They may start small and then snowballs to the point where you find yourself dealing with a “difficult/challenging employee”.

1) Take a Step Back:

The first thing you need to do is take a step back so you can better understand the issue at hand and try to look at it from a different perspective.

By taking a fair witness stance you will be doing two things:

  • Take a mediator role between the company and the employee: your job here is to help your employee get back on track, not to belittle them and break them down.
  • You take in all factors into consideration: you’re not just zeroing in on the employee in question, the problem might not even lie with them.

2) Keep Records:

This step is vital, too many managers don’t take the time to document and build up a report – start this process as soon as you notice an issue.

You will need documentation for two reasons:

  • Builds a better picture of what is going on with the employee’s behaviour before you or anyone sits down with them.
  • It will be required if the employee’s behaviour does not improve and more drastic actions need to be taken.

3) Listen to Them:

Once you have a clearer picture of the employee’s behaviour, sit down with them in a one on one scenario. Often the employee will be defensive in these situations, let them know you are there to listen and try to resolve the issue. The aim here is to view the situation from your employee’s perspective and see what went wrong.

4) Give Constructive Feedback:

Once you have a clear picture of the entire situation, it’s time to give feedback.You need to take the following 3 things into consideration when giving feedback:

  • Keep it constructive: Try to be neutral and provide constructive feedback without being overly negative or positive.
  • Be specific: Show them exactly where they need to improve and set them clear targets that they can aim for.
  • Be consistent: Set standards that you are willing to hold yourself and your staff to, you need to be consistent with this or you will be giving your employees’ mixed signals.
Read: 5 criticle mistakes new managers make!

5) Set Consequences:

If things do not improve, you need to adapt your approach. Show the employee what these changes should look like and give them deadlines. Example: if you do not do XYZ by this date, you will not receive ABC.

6) Build a Clear Path:

A good manager will always try to help an employee unfortunately If you reach that point where you need to let them go, you need to follow your HR policies and ensure you are legally compliant – this is where your documentation is going to come in handy.

If you follow these 6 Tips for Managing a Challenging Employee, you will be more confinent when dealing with your employees.

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