How do you handle difficult employees?
If only every employee was a shining star of competence and charm.
You know the reality, however.
Chances are good that as a supervisor you’ve dealt with at least one difficult employee. Just one toxic person can be more than enough to poison the well at the workplace. In addition to lowering morale, this can also have an impact on productivity.
When preparing for an interview for a supervisory or management position, be certain to devote some time to developing an answer to the question pertaining to handling difficult employees.
The following are some important skills and abilities required by supervisors in handling problem employees.
Work to incorporate them into an example that highlights a situation you’ve effectively managed to get an employee back on track:
1) The strength to deal with the situation in a direct manner as soon as it is realized. Ignoring a problem is never the solution.
2) The ability to separate personal feelings from the behaviors. There may be mutual dislike between you and the problem employee, but the focus should always remain on the employee’s behavior as it relates to achieving the goals of the company.
3) The ability to thoroughly investigate the situation and not rely on gossip and hearsay.
4) The effort to clearly communicate and provide specific feedback to this employee on how his behavior is impacting others by providing specific examples.
5) The desire to work to coach the employee in displaying more appropriate behaviors.
6) The awareness of the importance of actively documenting situations in the employee’s record and consulting with HR as necessary.
7) The understanding of when termination may be appropriate and how to follow through within the law.
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