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4 Tips on How to Handle a Difficult Employee

As a manager, it is important to understand how to handle a difficult employee in a way that will not affect the rest of the team. If a difficult employee is not managed properly, this may create a toxic working environment which will not motivate your employees to perform at their best. Here are 4 tips on how to handle a difficult employee.

Start With Something Positive

You should be able to find something positive to begin the conversation about their performance. If they have no positive aspects to their work, why are they still working for you? It is important to set a positive tone at the beginning of a conversation with a difficult employee. That way, they will see that there is value in their work which should help motivate them to improve.

Focus on Performance

When you are providing negative feedback to a difficult employee, it is imperative that you focus on their performance and not them personally. That way, they should feel that they can improve vs. feeling attacked on a personal level. This can also lead to a positive response and the employee may be open to change.

Be Direct

You have to be firm and direct with a difficult employee. Make it clear that there is a problem but there is also a solution. Leading is not about being liked and there are times when you will have to tell an employee something that he or she does not want to hear. When your message is clear then the employee should understand why there is a need for change.

Coach Them to Success

If the employee who is open to coaching, then you have an opportunity to coach them to success. This will involve frequent informal feedback sessions where you provide them with the tools for success. These tools could include articles, textbooks, or even online training.

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