How to deal with difficult employees???
how to deal with difficult employees in 2023? There are Eight practical pieces of advice to Managers about what they can and should do.
Most of the offices have a couple of employees who have strong persuasion. people are captious of doing everything and everyone and they constantly want to do things to be done in their desired ways. Some of them are completely stiff in their opinions So it will be very challenging for the managers to make decisions with them or to collaborate with them.
What do you do as a manager when you experience that kind of employee behaving unconstructively at work?
Here you get 8 tips on how managers can follow up on “difficult” employees.
1) Difficult employees must never be ignored
Employees who are detected as difficult by management and colleagues must make a healthy conversation to get an understanding. You should never try to correct those employees until you both have clear communication between you and you both heard and understood what this person really wants to convey.
Sometimes the difficult behavior is due to the person not being able to express their opinions in any other way. You may need to help teach him or her a constructive behavior strategy, even in the face of strong disagreement.
how to deal with difficult employees. Practically, you start with this:
Call for a Conversation
Make it clear that the background to the conversation is that you find it difficult to work with the person. Or that you are worried that others (specific and named people) will find it difficult. Show for very specific episodes. Refer to very specific feedback. Listen to the person, but do not open to discussing what you or others experience is the problem. Your and others’ experiences are facts the difficult person now has to deal with. Your agenda with the conversation is to invite dialogue and you seek help to solve this challenge together with the right person.
You can be corrected for small factual errors during the conversation, but your experience is fixed. Ask openly how the other person sees the situation you are in now and ask for help finding solutions. Emphasize that the solutions mean that the employee takes responsibility and makes changes himself. Pointing out that others need to change is not a solution.
When you have finished listening to the employee’s version and it’s your turn to speak. Speak as a Manager: Do not vent your own frustration, but point out behaviors that need to change if the situation is to improve. Do not talk about the person and personal characteristics. Be specific about issues and behavior.
Was this the best way to react in terms of creating the change you wanted? Is criticism the best way to get a colleague to do what you want? Explain what you would do. Refer to specific tricks and approaches. Point out what you think is missing for the employee to reach their goal. Explain why the strategy the person chooses does not work as intended, but only makes you and your colleagues frustrated. how to deal with difficult employees?
Give the person a chance
Then give the person a chance to place their own behavior in relation to what is written down as the organization’s values. For example: in what way is that way of referring to colleagues and managers compatible with our values of “unity and trust”? Feel free to refer to what is acceptable elsewhere in the business.
Explain why you think the types of behavior you are now observing are detrimental to the person themselves and to the cooperation between you.
Explain to the employee that resistance and criticism are perfectly ok. As a Manager, you both tolerate and want constructive criticism. But criticism must be addressed in a factual way. The right case must be presented in the right forums with the right documentation at the right time. The coffee machine or internal meetings are not suitable for emotional outbursts and critical opinions.
Finally, clarify in the conversation what you agree on is constructive behavior for the future. Write a record of what you have agreed on.
If colleagues or other managers have given notice that they are about to become ill due to the behavior and the unreasonable criticism from this person, you must point out that if the behavior continues, this may have consequences for the employment relationship.
2) Identify the causes of internal resistance
Internal resistance can come from different places and people. Preferably at a time that suits you very badly as a Manager. Try to clarify the issues that are being opposed, rather than attacking the people who are speaking out. These people are often just symptom carriers for something that is wrong in the department you lead. Complaints about the coffee machine or meetings can in reality be a signal of conflicts or stress between colleagues.
how to deal with difficult employees? You do well to find the real reason why someone on the staff is now difficult. Do not react with emotion to the matter being raised. Instead, start with an investigation into why the case comes up in this unconstructive way. What happens to us when someone can behave like that?
Try to look for the following causes of the anxiety you experience from individuals. For example, it could be:
- Lack of trust in you as a Manager.
- Believes that changes that have been notified are not feasible.
- I think there is a lack of sufficient resources for good implementation of changes.
- Fear of failure in the new that is to happen.
- Professional disagreement
- Fear of losing positions if decisions are implemented.
- Past ideals and values no longer apply. does not identify with the new ones.
- Do not want to be associated with a Manager or colleagues.
- Do not think that you are competent enough to lead.
If you manage to identify one or more reasons why this difficult employee, or rather the “symptom bearer”, chooses to take the burden by standing up, ruining meetings or criticizing the management “on behalf of an insane number”, then you have probably both solved the problem and silenced the criticism.
The art of dealing with resistance you experience from employees is to “take the ball from the man”. If you address the cause, you will get rid of the symptom. As said earlier, difficult employees are often a symptom; The symptom carrier.
3) Be motivating when others are tired
Tired people are seldom constructive, they can simply be quite angry and difficult. Be supportive and show that you still believe in your employees when you hear complaints and unrest in the staff group that you think is due to people being tired.
Use your time among your employees, create new faith in the future and strengthen the self-confidence and self-image of the individual. This is a leadership job that gives quick results during busy periods when people are struggling.
Communicate clear visions of the future and the goals and ambitions you have all set. When no one sees light and land, you must be the beacon.
Appear as persevering. Be present when needed and provide practical support in everyday life.
Demonstrate that you are trustworthy and that you trust others.
Always be in a good mood when talking to employees.
Be open to solutions that are original and out of the box with the person in question. It is stimulating and gives energy to hear the word “yes” from the boss. Say “YES” to ideas before you think about it. “YES” gives energy.
Sometimes you have to be able to be charismatic, funny, unifying and offer yourself. Even if you need time to plan to be spontaneous, now is the time to give it a try.
4) Use the breadth of your expertise
There is a difference between having knowledge as a Manager and having skills as a Manager.
- Your leadership skills are about getting people involved. Including the ability to interpersonal communication. Empathy, humor and good humor. Conflict management, relationship building are also skills every Manager needs to have.
- Knowledge of leadership is about what you know, but which you do not use in practice. Bureaucratic case processing, knowledge of regulations and that qualities are complied with and followed up is knowledge you have, but which rarely acts as motivating in management.
Both are necessary when your team is struggling. But not necessarily prioritized at the same time. Make sure you use your leadership skills more than your leadership skills when people are struggling.
5) Be fair
Most people who work for a Manager quickly learn if the Manager is fair or not. All decisions you make tend to be colored in the light of employees’ thoughts of justice. Always listen to whether employees perceive the processes and division of labor for which you are responsible as fair.
There is a difference between procedural fairness (how the tasks are determined) and performance fairness (everyone does the same thing when the tasks are distributed). Explain this difference. 100% performance equity does not exist in Norwegian workplaces. But there is no reason not to manage 100 percent procedural justice.
Experiences of injustice quickly drain all the energy in a team. Talk about what justice is. Check if employees feel that it is useful to tell you when something is unfair. Experiences of justice prevent a lot of noise. Injustice is fuel for the difficult employee.
6) Leadership is goal achievement
Find openings to be able to listen and involve more in advance of your decisions if you experience a lot of resistance or difficult employees. It never hurts to listen and anchor your decisions. In the end, it is up to you as the Manager to make the decisions. Decisions are your responsibility.
But good decisions do not stand in the way of good involvement of your employees. Smart employees demand involvement and expect to be heard. Smart Managers know that it is better to get involved before a decision is made than afterwards.
7) Accept that you have the employees you have
Of course, it could have been nice with only satisfied employees. But accept that you have the people you have rather than wish they were someone other than they are.
Assume that troublemakers need a little extra attention. All Managers have such in their team. The noisier people you have, the more you have to look for openings in the organization to listen to them. Frustrating in busy times, but worse is actually not taking responsibility as a Manager. Ignoring people with opinions other than your own is not an option for Managers. The opinions are expressed anyway.
All employees demand and need to be heard by their boss. Some just need it more than others. And not everyone has learned a constructive way to do this. Set aside time for internal resistance. Take as a starting point the people you have at your disposal, not the time you have available.
Do not fall for the temptation to exclude those who make noise from anchoring processes. Find a way to make internal conflicts and dilemmas visible so that they are clear to the employees as well.
Conflict lines and dilemmas that the employees are familiar with can eventually be made a part of corporate governance and you as a manager will spend less and less time on them. A good example is the tension between a production department and a sales department.
The sellers think the employees in the production are too slow and the production thinks the sellers promise more than we can keep. Frequent meetings and good dialogue can reduce the lines of conflict and help the company to improve. Only hidden and undercommunicated conflicts harm managers and businesses.
8) The Manager has the right to decide
The Manager is responsible for making decisions, and therefore has a legitimate right to be able to make decisions. The “difficult employee” usually does not want to challenge your legitimacy to decide. They rarely want to take over your responsibility. They’re just looking to be heard by you. You can feel confident in your leadership role.
Leadership of difficult employees is about the ability to get involved rather than to be provoked. For all Managers, it is important to have enough humility to know that behind every difficult person there is an opportunity to handle a case in a new and better way.
People are not difficult. But the issues they come up with can sometimes be that. You can be completely confident in your role as a Manager when you focus on issues and do not have on people. As a Manager, you can make demands on behavior and, if necessary, change the behavior of others. But you can never change the personality of others.
how to deal with difficult employees?