In a perfect world, all employees would be a great fit for their jobs, hard-working and valuable members of their team, but this isn't a perfect world! There are lots of reasons why employees might become difficult to work with or manage. Perhaps they have issues at home that are affecting their work, maybe they're not feeling supported or included in their team, or possibly, they just aren't suited to the role they're doing. Dealing with difficult employees isn't easy, but if you approach the situation professionally, you may be able to help them turn things around. Here's our advice on dealing with difficult employees.
Get to the root of the problem
When someone's displaying difficult or toxic behaviour in the workplace, there's usually a reason. Finding the root cause of the problem is a great place to start if you're dealing with a difficult employee, after all, there might be a simple solution you can put in place to help alleviate their disruptive behaviour. Talk to the difficult employee in a one-to-one meeting and see if you can find out why they're acting the way they are.
Use the information they give you to offer advice. For example, if they're struggling with mental health problems and this is making it difficult to focus on work, you could help them seek a counsellor or even make their working hours slightly more flexible so they're not under pressure to perform on their worst days.
Give clear & constructive feedback
Sometimes, employees that are difficult might not know that they're causing a problem in the workplace. It's important that when you talk to them about their behaviour and how it needs to change that you do so in a professional manner. This might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but hopefully, it will help the difficult employee to re-assess their behaviour and start making positive changes. Make sure that your manner of speaking is not intimidating or degrading, this can worsen an employees behaviour further if they feel they're being picked on. Keep the conversation concise and constructive at all times.