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How to Deal with Difficult Employees

How to Deal with Difficult Employees

Are you having problem on how to deal with your difficult and troublesome employee? Do you need guidelines on how to handle your stubborn employee? If your answer to this question is yes, then please read on.

One thing i have learned in business is that shit happens and it happens fast without forewarning. You can make a million dollars today and lose it tomorrow. You can hire an excellent employee today or better still, you can get an employee from hell. Now what do you do in a situation where you have a difficult employee but you lack the power or authority to fire such employee? Well, this article will provide you some guidelines.

How to Deal with Difficult Employees

1. Do not ignore the problem

Though the said employee provides value to the company and possesses redeeming qualities that you wouldn’t want to lose, there are many ways to handle or deal with such difficult employees. Most times, managers will simply ignore the problematic staffs hoping that the problem will just go away; that these people will somehow turn themselves around or will stop being troublesome someday. But ignoring the situation is the wrong solution to what could become a progressive problem.

2. Do not relent to intervene as soon as possible

It is very crucial to take an action as soon as the negative behavior pattern becomes evident. This is because when such attitude is left untouched or ignored, it will only increase.

Occasionally, the difficult employee may have no idea that his/her behavior is irritating and other employees are striving to tolerate or put up with the nasty attitude and putting up with such character may result to job frustration. As a manager or entrepreneur, it is your duty to speak up against such bad behaviour and take a step to address this problem.

3. Make a Research of the Problem Personally

One of the best ways to deal with difficult employees is to be a armed with accurate data and information about that particular employee. To achieve this, you may need to call this person into a conference room or office; away from other employees and calmly address the issue.

Once you are in private with the employee, you can start by asking the employee if he or she is aware of any ongoing issues with respect his attitude. This will help you determine if the difficult person is aware of the surrounding predicaments. If the employee is “not aware”, you may need to describe the effect of his/her unacceptable behavior on the co-workers. The employee might interrupt to disagree or deny the existence of any issues. Nevertheless, you must continue by giving clear instances of the unaccepted behavior.

However, fairness requires that you allow the employee to respond to the allegations. If the difficult employee fails to believe that the allegations are in existence after all the evidence, then you can either choose to get rid of the employee or live with the attitude.

4. Endeavor to draw out the reasons behind the behavior.

As you interact or discuss with the employee, carefully listen to what they say. Stay calm and positive, but remain impartial and non-judgmental. Ask direct questions that cannot be answered in one or two words. Do not interrupt.

When you respond to the difficult employee, remain calm. Conclude back to them with what they just said, so they will know that you are really listening to them. If you could discover what the difficult employee is saying regarding to his/her inappropriate altitude, you have a much better opportunity of finding a solution.

How to Deal with Difficult Employees

5. Assist the problematic Employee to get back on track

Immediately the employee starts to understand that the negative behaviors are real and that it is negatively affecting others in the organization, you can start coaching the difficult employee on how to display more good and acceptable behavior. However, you must know that the employee needs time and practice in order to adjust to better behavior. It is also your duty as an entrepreneur or manager to provide specific feedback to this employee on the success or failure of his or her effort in minimizing the bad actions.

6. If all the Endeavors fail, termination may be necessary.

If the employee insisted on denying his/her inappropriate behavior and refuses to try to amend the situation, you can proceed to place the person on the fast track towards termination. Frequently record a series of well-documented verbal and written feedback about the behavior. You should also give a period for the employee to address the questionable character. If this trial period does not change the output or improve the character, then the employee needs to be terminated.


As a final note, most of the employees will recognize the negative character and will at least attempt to turn it around. This is especially true during tough economic times when unemployment is high and getting a new job is difficult. In any case, you are required to follow company guidelines in recognizing the unwanted altitude, providing direct feedback, providing input to try to change it and ultimately taking action in a targeted manner.

In conclusion, i believe the above information can go a long way in assisting you deal with difficult employees in your organization. Remember, difficult employees may drive away good employees and customers as well; and ultimately tamper with success of your organization.

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About Ellis Ferdinand

Ellis Ferdinand is the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of EducationGhana Limited and the Managing Editor at . He is a passionate writer,a publicist and an online Marketer and Promoter. He is Ghana's number 1 Education Blogger who brings all happenings in the Ghanaian Education Sector ,from Basic to Tertiary, to the doorsteps of readers on He is also the Founder of Education Awards Ghana which will soon be launched in Ghana to help boosts the Education Sector. He is Passionate about Promoting Education in Ghana, Africa and the world at large. Ferdinand Completed Accra College of Education and was Awarded a Diploma In Basic Education by the University of Cape Coast and Currently reading Psychology and Foundation of Education with Management and Accounting Options at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. Ferdinand is willing to work with any organization who believes in Promoting quality business as well as Education in Ghana and Africa. You can Contact him for Promotion of Events,Advertisements,Publications and any other business through Education Ghana.

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