While every manager hopes for easy-to-manage team members, it isn’t uncommon to oversee an employee or two that are challenging to supervise. Some workers are prone to negativity, resist authority figures, miss deadlines, are frequently absent, or fall short of being team players.

Ultimately, managers must adapt to a range of personality types to effectively lead. If you have an unmanageable employee, here are five tips that can help you take charge and get them headed in the right direction.

1. Start with Open Communication

Communication is critical when you have an unmanageable employee. You need to openly discuss the issues as soon as they present themselves, outlining the difficulties you identified and why they’re problematic.

Ideally, you want to have a one-on-one meeting, though immediate intervention could be necessary if an employee’s unruliness or defiance is negatively impacting a team meeting or project discussion significantly. However, even if you had to take quick action, follow up with a private meeting. Then, you can discuss the issues in a straightforward, fact-based matter.

2. Reassert Your Expectations

As you meet with the employee, you also need to reassert your expectations. Transparency and clarity are critical, as there’s a chance the worker didn’t entirely understand what’s expected based on previous conversations.

As you present problems, give the employee a chance to fill in any details regarding why the problems occurred. There may be outside factors you’re unaware of, so give them an opportunity to provide you with the complete picture along the way.

3. Focus on Coaching

A coaching mindset is often more effective than straight criticism. Work with the employee to identify solutions, appropriate courses of action, and suitable goals and timelines to promote accountability and formalize the plan. The idea is to shift their attitude and shape their behavior, not berate them for falling short. That allows you to come from a position of support, which often leads to better results.

4. Document Everything

Documenting the issues and any corrective actions – including one-on-one meetings and coaching sessions – is essential. By doing so, you’re creating a formal record regarding the employee’s performance, making it easier to identify positive or negative changes over time.

Additionally, document any consequences and the related policy you base them on in the employee’s file. That ensures you capture any of your efforts and also gives you supporting information if you need to move on to the next option.

5. Consider Termination

In some cases, an unmanageable employee isn’t going to change. Additionally, the damage they cause could reach severity levels where keeping them on board doesn’t make sense. As a result, if the options above fail, considering a termination is potentially a wise move.

While losing a team member means having a shorthanded team, keeping a difficult team member on staff is often worse. Along with subpar work on their part, their attitude or productivity issues put stress on other employees. By replacing that worker with a stronger performer, you can improve the overall experience for everyone, making it the better choice.

If you need to replace an unmanageable employee quickly, TempStaff can help. Contact us today.

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