How To Deal With Problem Staff

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The hardest part of dealing with problem staff is confronting the problem employee and dealing with them, as this can be quite daunting. So I’ve done my research and complied a list of steps you can go through if you’re faced with having this dreaded task.

  1. On a piece of paper, whiteboard or even word document, describe the behaviour that is causing the problem along with examples e.g. dates, customer and colleague complaints. 
  2. Then, list the consequences of that behaviour and the impact it has of you, your company, your staff and your customers. 
  3. Decided what action you will have to take next if the behaviour happens again.
  4. Determine how you’re going to deal with the behaviour the staff member has. Is there a course you could send them on?

Here’s the hard part… the talk.

The time, place and tone you take is really important and can have a really big effect on what happens next. Set aside time for the discussion, block out a time in your calendar and turn off your phone to eliminate any distractions. The conversation needs to be private, all attention needs to be focused between the two of you. You need to get to the point but also be kind. E.g. I’ve had some feedback from our customer/staff that I need to bring to your attention as they involve you. Outline the implications this has on the company and the employee, sometimes your staff can be unaware of the consequences their actions cause. Between the two of you find a solution, the employee needs to have a say and express any suggestions/opinions that they have. 

What you need to watch out for…

There’s always a reason behind someones behaviour, but the hard part is getting them to explain this. They may feel embarrassed to tell you. The behaviour may stem from an underlying problem, whether that problem be with their family, money, stress. You can’t go in at the start all guns blazing without knowing what the problem is because you’ll make the situation 10x worse… and also probably feel very bad if there was a serious cause for their behaviour.