Managing Difficult Employees
What kind of difficult employee are you? Many of us wouldn’t group ourselves into the “difficult employee” category; however, we’ve all been there or perhaps still are. We’ve been the newbie at a company; have lacked passion, or maybe the root of our difficult behavior lies within the management we’ve received. As future managers we must learn how to identify and manage difficult employees in order to avoid being poor managers ourselves.
Spotting the Difficult Employee
Chances are if you have a difficult employee on your hands it will be very evident. Not only will this employee’s attitude suffer, so will the general work atmosphere of your company or department. It’s important to notice the signs right away.
The degrees of difficulty range from the inexperienced to the unfixable. First we have our new employee. We don’t typically consider new employees as being “difficult employees”; however, in a sense they are. New employees possess little to no experience in the particular field and lack general knowledge of the workplace. Training requires the time and assistance of more experienced employees. New employees often make mistakes that can cause stress and require the use of even more time to correct. The assumption is that new employee will only be difficult for a period of time and shouldn’t be cause for immediate concern (Brounstein, 1993, p.5).
Then we have the employee who lacks consistency. This employee is difficult because their work cannot be depended on. The inconsistent employee has good days and bad days; good weeks and bad weeks; good months and bad months. This employee is probably very capable and possesses the ability to do their job well; however, they cannot consistently produce high quality work. Coworkers and managers can never predict what kind of help and/or work they are going to receive from this individual (Brounstein, 1993, p.5).
Next we have the employee that is very competent in one...