|Work would be great if it weren’t for the people-or at least some of the people. Unfortunately, no leader is exempt from having to deal with problem employees. The tricky thing is to eliminate the problem without making things worse. Below is advice on how to effectively address the situation:
- Don’t turn a blind eye to poor performance. Disciplining employees may be uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore a performance problem. Hoping it will go away won’t resolve the issue, will probably make it worse, and may lead to additional problems with other employees. Take a stand as soon as problems occur.
- Do explain to employees that actions have consequences. When approaching a problem employee, clearly outline your expectations. Then make sure the employee understands that failure to meet those expectations will have consequences. Leave no doubt that you take this situation seriously.
- Don’t let personalities come into play. Discipline must be consistent. You can’t let problems slide with employees you favor while taking a hard line with those you don’t. Setting double standards will hurt morale, will undermine your authority, and could have legal repercussions.
- Do keep a record of the incident. Even if you’re convinced that a single conversation has resolved the problem, you should still document the incident. Suppose you’re wrong and the employee doesn’t improve? You’ll want to be able to demonstrate all the steps you’ve taken to deal with the situation.
- Don’t develop a termination mindset. Your first thought should be, “How can I coach this employee to do better?” not, “How can I get rid of this person?” Strive to protect the investment you and your company have made in the employee.
- Do adhere to company policy. If the problem persists, don’t hesitate to seek help from human resources or your leader. They may be able to guide you toward a better result. In the worst case, they should be in the loop.
~Adapted from the Laundry Today website