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A Bad Apple In The Bunch: Dealing With A Difficult Employee

There are all sorts of reasons that an employee may turn difficult at work. They may be having problems in their home life, have a bad attitude, or be reacting to an issue within their team. Sadly, when an employee is being difficult can cause many problems in the workplace including a lack of productivity, a toxic atmosphere, and a fall in all that all-important quality motivation in the rest of the team. With this in mind find out how to deal with the bad apple before they start turning the rest of the bunch mouldy.

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Address the issue

The first step when dealing with a bad apple is to address the issue. Too many managers don’t challenge poor behaviour at work and hope that it will just go away on its own. Most of the time it doesn’t though, and it can make everyone else’s life a misery while it’s going on, so they need to see that you have recognised there’s a problem and that you are dealing with it.

That doesn’t mean you have to go in with heavy-fisted approach. In fact, an informal chat is usually the best way to start things off, unless they have done something serious. Use this opportunity to point out that you are concerned about the way they are acting. For 8/10 employees this is usually enough for them to buck their ideas up and get back to the standard they were previously working at.

Also, you can use this chat to find out whether there are any specific problems that are causing the behaviour, to see if you can do something about them.

Get some HR help

The next stage to progress to if things don’t improve is consulting with your HR department about the policies and procedures you have at your disposal. They should be able to offer advice, not only on what to do but how to do it to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible.

Of course, you could find yourself in a position where you don’t have access to an HR professional within the company at this particular time. Something that can seriously compromise the outcome of a situation like this.

Luckily, you can use a company that provides HR interim services to help you. They will be able to provide a candidate to fulfil the role until your usual person can return. They can even offer hour by hour rates for smaller issues and advice that is needed if that would suit the situation or your budget better.

Offer counselling services

While your HR professional is likely to suggest that you begin formal processes and to document them well, they can also provide some more creative solutions to the problem.

One of these may include offering counselling or training for the person that is causing the problem. The idea behind this being that they get a chance to express their personal opinions and issues in a safe space. Something that allows them to work through them in a way that doesn’t affect the productivity of your business or the other employees that work there.