As managers and team leaders, we’ve all been there. We recruit the brightest and talented members of the applicant pool. We spend time and resources to train them effectively. We assume we’ve assembled a great team. But then it happens. The employee you envisioned as a leader in your company turns out to be a negative drain on the entire operation.
Regardless of what type of challenges she poses, the crux of the problem remains. Left un-checked, the employee could model harmful behavior that other employees could pick up and implement. Even worse, she could damage your company’s reputation and ability to succeed.
Here are 5 few ways you can ameliorate the challenges on your own. It may take a lot of patience and understanding on your behalf, but it is in your best interest to keep the lines of communication open.
Keep Track of Performance Issues
Nothing is more powerful when it comes to firing an employee than to track the work that’s been completed. Without proper documentation or tracking, it’s very difficult to leverage the firing of a team member. Keep track of the performance issues for each of your employees. By monitoring their growth, or lack of growth, you’ll be better prepared to bring up issues and to fight off an potential sparks before they turn into fires.
Research all Problems and Complaints
No matter who reports the complaint, you, as the employer, must do your part to investigate the claim. Show that you’re an engaged member of the team who’s interested in solving problems, not brushing them under the rug.
Pull Employees Up With You!
You may be tempted to spend less time and energy on an employee who has historically given you trouble, but why not focus on developing them as leaders. Arm them with positive feedback and help them see the purpose of their work. This can go a long way when dealing with employees who may not feel the purpose of their work. While it may not seem like a great idea to start, why not make them captain of a small project or team? In an ideal outcome, they’ll feel affirmed by your trust and will change their behavior for the better!
Reach Out as a Concerned Friend
If you notice a sudden shift in negative behavior that doesn’t seem to fit the employee’s natural demeanor, it can be helpful to reach out as a friend. It’s not uncommon for employees who are dealing with stressful events at home to lash out in emotional, and often inappropriate ways, at work. While you cannot condone this behavior, you can show your support as an active listener. If you employee feels comfortable sharing the event with you, you’ve made huge progress! Now, you can understand the root of the problem and offer help to the employee. What are ways you can help them? If possible, remind them that you’re interested in their well-being. Encourage time off or a temporary arrangement where their hours are shifted to better accommodate their personal challenges. Finally, if you’re comfortable recommend that your employee seeks the counsel of a trusted friend or professional who can help them manage their anger or their stress in a healthier way.
Learn from Mistakes
Take time to reflect on the challenges that the employee brought to your workforce? Are there ways for you to prevent these problems from arising in the future? An easy way to do this is to make sure that you’re hiring the right applicants during the interview process.