How to Deal with Difficult Employees: 10 Tips to Improve Workplace Performance

As a business owner and leader, one of your main responsibilities is to ensure that the company has a good working environment. Because only under these conditions are employees able to work calmly and carry out their daily tasks and motivate themselves and commit to the company’s growth objectives.

In case of problems, the first thing you should do is identify the people who are causing it. And then, analyze objectively if you have something to do with those situations. Because every change in the team begins with the leader, and without a thoughtful and mature look at yourself, it will be challenging dealing with the most challenging collaborators.

With all the information you need in hand, the third step is to apply a simple but effective action plan. And here, we share its ten main steps.

1. Focus on poor performance that are damaging business results

Businesses, especially those with more employees, often face many employee relationship and performance issues, and the reality is that their resolution can take time.

2. Don’t waste valuable time

Once the sources of problems have been detected, it is best to face them as quickly as possible and stop them from damaging the good working environment. Silence and inaction are equivalent to validating negative behavior.

3. Listen

When you meet with a difficult employee, expose the situation and then focus on learning more about him: what happens to him, how he feels, and his vision of the company and his colleagues.

4. Try to understand the causes

People who cause problems in their work often have personal conflicts, difficulties relating to and accepting authority, or sometimes they are simply unmotivated and angry at the company.

5. Be clear

Difficult collaborators generally don’t know they are or tend to ignore the situation. Respectfully but firmly explain what is happening and what the negative impact of their behaviors is.

6. Raise options for improvement

It is very important to allow the employee to acknowledge his mistakes, express his point of view, and improve his attitude, to continue being part of the team.

7. Set clear deadlines

The opportunity to improve their situation in the company cannot have an indefinite period for employees. That’s why it’s best to set short goals and follow through on them. (

8. Offer training

Does an employee have a lack of empathy? Or do you not know how to work in a team? Do you have problems with authority? Once the problem is identified, look for workshop options or personalized mentoring from a coach.

9. What if you change the employee’s position?

Perhaps the main problem with your collaborator is that they have been in the same place for a long time and do not have the opportunity to take advantage of their knowledge, skills, and experience.

10. Apply punishments

If the employee does not show a willingness to change, then you have to think about a sanction (such as a suspension or a payroll discount) that transmits to the rest of the team that, in your company, the rules must be followed.

Have you had a collaborator with a negative coworker? How have you dealt with it?

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