The state of your staff says a lot about how you run your company. If the members of your team are happy to come to work, enjoy interacting with each other and are regularly productive, it’s an indication you may just have mastered the art of running the proverbial “well-oiled machine”. As we discussed in our last blog, to be a successful business owner, it’s imperative you show high-quality leadership skills.

But, as the old saying goes, “you can’t please everyone”.

At some point, you’re likely to encounter an individual on your team who isn’t quite pleased with his/her job. In some cases, you may find an employee or two who isn’t so easy to work with. Are you receiving complaints about someone from members of your staff? Is there a noticeable disinterest shown by one or more of your employees?

How you manage a difficult employee says everything about how you manage and maintain your company culture. As we’ve pointed out in numerous blogs of past, your company culture is a defining feature of your brand and one of the top reasons job seekers will wish to work for you. If you’re able to appropriately quell negative emotions, it will go a long way in making your place of business a top destination for those seeking employment.

Evaluate the situation and address it promptly.

It’s important, of course, that you don’t just simply listen to rumours. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t take employee complaints seriously – quite the opposite. It’s your job to investigate what you’ve heard about the difficult employee to determine the root causes of the issues said individual is having. Of course, if you notice yourself that an employee is being difficult, it’s imperative you address the person quickly.

“Don’t put it off,” insists F. John Reh on TheBalanceCareers.com, “It may not be pleasant, but it’s an important part of your job. It will not ‘fix itself’. It can only get worse. You have planned this confrontation. Now you need to execute. And remember, everyone on your team is watching and waiting. “

Dig deep to find the heart of the issue.

We’re all emotional beings. Your difficult employee may have a very valid for being disgruntled. This doesn’t mean, however, that he/she should be hard to work with. Finding the root cause of your employee’s issue will help to appropriately address and resolve it. Kristeen Bullwinkle & The Talent Gear Team advise that when you’re evaluating the situation, it’s important to have a few important questions answered.

Among them are “How does the employee interact with coworkers?”, “Is the employee’s change in attitude recent?”, “Has the employee’s workload or responsibility changed?” and “Did something recently happen in the individual’s life that could have triggered an attitude shift?” Once these questions are answered, it’s important to come up with a solution together with your employee.

Find an agreed-upon solution.

“The desired result of confronting a difficult employee’s inappropriate behaviour is an agreed upon solution,” insists Reh, “You know that this inappropriate behaviour will continue unless you and the employee agree on a solution. The employee needs to know what is inappropriate about their behaviour and they also need to know what the appropriate behaviour is so that they can adjust their approach.”

The way you handle the most difficult employee sets the tone for trust in your culture.

For more expert advice on how to manage a difficult employee, contact Hire Value Inc. today!