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How to Deal with Problem Employees

| November 25, 2008

by Jim Bruce

In today’s reading “How to Deal with Problem Employees”, John Baldoni addresses an issue that every manager and leader will, sooner or later, have to address -– confronting an employee whose behavior disrupts other staff.  When such behavior occurs, if we don’t step up, we are saying by our actions that it is OK for staff to be annoyed, to feel abused by fellow employees and perhaps by their boss, for productivity and morale to suffer, etc.
Baldoni urges leaders to stop ignoring problem behavior – it’s not going to go away by itself – and to step up and address the issue at its source.  He suggests a four step approach:
1.  Point out the problem:  Talk about the annoying behavior with the offender.  Be specific about how these behaviors are disruptive.
2.  Ask for the offenders solution:  What would the offender do if he or she were in the manager’s position?
3.  Communicate a course of behavior designed to stop the annoying behavior.
4.  Follow up:  Stay on top of the issue by observing and asking questions.  Never, ever just assume that after the communication the problem will go away.
Let’s take the steps necessary to make the workplace a place where we enjoy working.  .  .  .  .     jim