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57% of Managers' Time is Spent Dealing With Difficult Staff
by Andrew Rondeau

Announcing Ways To Deal With Difficult Staff.

As a manager, how do you deal with difficult staff?

How much of your management time is spent unwisely with difficult staff?

Would you like to know the secrets of easily managing your problem staff?

Well this is what it takes.

Every business and department has them - problem staff who use up a great deal of a managers time and energy trying to achieve better performance and results.

A few years ago, it was easy to rectify the problem, just terminate the employee and get on with business. In today's business world, employment laws have become much more employee friendly which has increased the challenges to managers as to how to deal with these individuals.

So how does a manager handle such staff effectively to achieve a win / win resolution? Unfortunately most managers focus all their efforts in trying to get rid of the problem rather than taking a step back and planning a strategy to give the staff a chance to become an asset to the business/department.

In order to deal with a problem employee it is important to be able to pinpoint where the true problem lies. The good news is that managers only need to focus on three areas to find the answer.

As a manager, if you follow these three areas in order, you will find where you will need to focus your efforts to turn your problem employee into a productive member of your team.

The first area to look at is training and development. Has the employee been trained and developed properly? Does he or she know what is expected of them? Was their training and development period adequate? Do they perform their duties within the guidelines set forth by the business/department?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions then training and development is not the issue, then you need to move to the next area. On the other hand if you answer no to any of the above, it is time to set aside some time to re-train the individual.

The second area is the environment. Is there something in the employees work environment that may be affecting their performance? There may be a possibility that the employee may have developed an allergy to the equipment they work with, or there may be something in the air that is causing the employee problems getting the job done. Or they don't have the space, correct chair, tools to perform their role.

If the environment is the cause of the problem it may be in the managers best interest to try to find an alternate job within the company that will provide a better climate for the employee to work in. Or provide them with the appropriate tools in order to complete their role.

If the environment is not the problem then the only other option is the staff's behaviour. This is by far the most difficult to deal with as people in general get very defensive and offended when they are being talked to about their conduct.

When speaking with an employee about their behaviour it is important to be up front with the issue. There is no reason to beat around the bush. You have to ask questions and let the employee say everything they have to say. The employee may have personal problems that are affecting their duties; they may hate the job or are having problems with someone they work with.

Once you have found the root of the problem then it is important to offer solutions. It may be counselling, a mediated meeting with another employee, or maybe the offer of a leave of absence from work to get their affairs in order.

Once the discussion has neared the end you must inform the employee of your expectations as their direct report and how they are expected to behave at work.

By following the above steps you as a manager will be able to improve performance and production from the most difficult member of staff.

A Last Word...

One of the biggest fears in being a manager is dealing with difficult staff. It's not easy but don't put it off -- deal with it as soon as possible after you see a dip in the staff member's performance. Make sure you are seen as the manager who deals with difficult staff effectively and efficiently.

Andrew Rondeau may be contacted at
Click here to view more of Andrew Rondeau's articles.
Andrew Rondeau is a leading Management and Leadership strategist.

Over the course of his 20 year management career Andrew has helped the personnel of many Blue Chip organisations to improve their skills, processes and approaches to achieve remarkable results.

Andrew offers Management /Leadership coaching and mentoring services.

Andrew is also the author of the ground breaking management e-Books 'Accelerate Your Management Effectiveness', 'How To Get A Standing Ovation Every Time You Publicly Present' and 'Learn The Secrets Of Time Management'


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