Who they are: This is your ‘woe is me’ employee. Everyone has the same amount of work to do but to listen to this employee you would think that he or she was doing everyone else’s work as well as her own. A martyr likes nothing better than complaining, whining, bitching and moaning to anyone who will listen about how much work, pressure and responsibility they have on their shoulders. Often, they believe they cannot get a task done because of something that is out of their control. In short, they have no ‘get-up-and-go’ or positive attitude.
A victim often comes across as tentative, apprehensive and helpless. They too are likely to blame others for their lack of productivity and efficiency. What’s more, they bring everyone else down. In short, they are depressing.
You’ll also notice that when they attempt to explain themselves, they will invariably leave out the key one or two details that would explain why they haven’t...
Who they are: The term ‘toxic employee’ refers to an individual on your team or in your department that can be dangerous or poisonous to the morale of your team. A toxic employee can spread negative energy throughout a workforce, fostering antagonism and resentment, subtly or overtly infecting their co-workers with their own bitterness.
A toxic employee may be one who always subtly complains about everything and suggests a sinister ulterior motive to whatever the company does, or the passive-aggressive worker who backbites and then plays the martyr to the hilt when they are called on their behaviour by the manager. Passive-aggressive employees express their aggression in passive resistance; they avoid direct conflict and resist the demands of others by being stubborn and sullen, deliberately inefficient and procrastinating.
The true danger of toxic employees is that they can contaminate others; vulnerable employees can get caught up in the net of negativity and...
Scenario: An employee is threatening other staff members, or causing other members to be uncomfortable because of confrontational remarks or behaviors.
Solution: Threats of any kind should not be tolerated. If an employee makes a threat to another employee or member of management, then the situation needs to be documented thoroughly and the employee may need to be dismissed depending on the severity of the threat. In the case of a minor threat, dismissal should not occur on the first offense, but a written counseling needs to be provided. When any situation is occurring that makes other staff members feel uncomfortable, the behavior needs to be addressed immediately in a private conversation. For example:
"Mary, making comments such as __________ is not appropriate at work. These comments show a lack of respect for other members of our team, and we have no tolerance for disrespectful behavior. Your behavior needs to change immediately, and you need to be careful about...
Solution: Showing blatant anger towards a member of management (usually because a decision doesn’t go their way) is a display of defiance, and it should be handled accordingly. The behavior needs to be stopped immediately and management should not tolerate any form of anger or defiance, especially when it is directed towards a staff member in a management position. Anger is defined however the manager deems it to be.
If the employee is yelling, ask them to calm down and talk to you about what is going on. For example:
"Mary, I can see that you are upset, and I really want to help you with this situation. Please take a deep breath and calm down, and then you can tell me what is going on."
If the employee is talking back to management, remind them about the chain of command and that failing to follow instructions is insubordination. For example:
"Mary, I understand that you are not happy...
“I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun” – John D. Rockefeller
There are a wide variety of difficult employees that you may face as you progress through your management career. Whether it’s dealing with a lazy employee, a toxic worker, an employee who is disrespectful or rude to you, absenteeism, people who request a pay rise or a member of staff with a potential substance abuse problem, and many more.
Dealing with personnel issues can be some of the toughest work you’ll ever have to do, so you want to be informed and up-to-date on the latest laws and management thinking. The step by step solutions we provide in the manage difficult employee course have been gained from years of my own personal management experience, plus ongoing discussions with those in very senior managerial roles, whom I have been fortunate enough to know.
In this section, I want to quickly discuss why some...
It’s a known fact that younger managers often find it difficult to manage older employees. According to the Chartered Management Institute, 60% of senior managers in the UK report that younger line managers struggle to gain the most out of knowledgeable older workers because they manage them poorly.
Uneasiness about age difference often prevents the two parties from forging productive working relationships. The issues could be on both sides. Research shows that ageism often occurs at line manager level. Think carefully about the choices and assumptions you’re making in regard to your older employees. Ask yourself: would I still think that way if they were younger? If not, I’m sorry to say it but you’re guilty of ageism.
Assuming older workers will want to retire at a certain age, for instance, or that they will struggle to learn new skills or won’t be ambitious near the end of their career can cause untold distress to the workers in question. It...
Managing employee misconduct is one of the most difficult tasks that a manager is required to handle. If you want to be successful in managing the employees on your team, then it is necessary to have a plan in place before the misconduct occurs so that you will know how to handle each situation. Following these guidelines will help you to stay consistent with all employees- and consistency in management helps you to create a positive working environment and maintain equality among the staff on your team. The last thing you want is to treat employees differently.
[Note: it is always best to seek out professional advice instead of simply relying on the information in this article, and the author will not be held responsible for anything that happens as a result of your actions. Everything stated here are the opinions of the author.]
In order to stay consistent with your management and effectively help the employees understand the expectations, it is necessary for your company to have...
Failure to handle difficult employees is possibly the biggest weakness of new and old managers alike. At heart, all managers want their team to get on, work productively together, do the job effectively and, ideally, be a pleasure to work with. What we don’t want is one or two ‘bad apples’ in the bunch who upset co-workers, interrupt productivity and efficiency, and, worse, ‘taint’ other easily-led workers with their grievance.
Nigel took over a small team at his new company who had been together for two years. He had been warned that their previous boss was ‘failing’, hence his replacement, and that his inability to lead properly had influenced the team negatively.
Most people were glad to welcome a new manager, especially one with Nigel’s experience. However, there was one employee who would never be happy no matter what he did. This ‘toxic’ employee quite clearly hated her job and wanted others to be as unhappy...