Human Resources and Problem Employees

For human resources and businesses in general, problem employees can be a headache. Problem employees are an inevitable part of the human resource landscape. A disproportionate amount of time and emotional energy can be spent on these individuals. However, some of these employees are bright individuals that have a lot to offer. It just may be that they feel undervalued, or that their contribution to the business is meaningless. A lot of managers and human resource departments are held hostage to problem employees, never quite able to pull the trigger and let them go. Therefore, it is crucial to take a look at what to do with problem employees and how to better motivate them if you would like to see change and keep them on staff.

Listen and Show Empathy

When an employee becomes difficult it becomes hard to listen to what their needs and issues are. Managers and human resource personnel stop paying attention to the underlying issue. The best managers truly listen and pay attention to what is going on and address the issue at hand. They know that to improve a situation you must understand the situation.

Empower and Provide Feedback

Some people learn better with visuals and others learn better by hearing something. Same goes for performance. Some individuals respond differently to coaching and feedback. If it is all negative things during a feedback session that person will certainly continue to have a negative mindset leaving the office.  Some problem employees can get burnt-out and stop caring about their job entirely. To empower it is good to use an “oreo” type coaching or feedback session. This means to start the conversation out with something that they are doing positive, then give something that they can improve on, and lastly, ending with something positive. So a positive-negative-positive structure.

Set Consequences

If nothing changes after all efforts to improve that person’s behavior, it is important to set clear and consistent consequences. For example, this could include a written warning, and if written warning is violated then termination will occur. Provide a clear date of when the behavior needs to change and if it does not what will happen. This alone can motivate a problem employee to change his/her ways because they most likely do not want to lose their job.

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