How to Deal With Difficult Employees as a Supervisor

Almost all managers come across certain employees who are difficult to handle. These employees, knowingly and unknowingly, display unwanted behaviour which violates a company’s code of conduct, and further disrupts the morale of fellow employees. For managers, the task will be to focus on the positives, inculcate hard work and motivate them to perform up to expectations.


  • 1

    What’s stopping you?

    Most often than not, managers or supervisors are more concerned with the productivity of an employee. They truly evaluate a person on his or her performances, as you don’t want to look foolish when criticizing a person on behavioural aspects, since ultimately a company demands performances.

    However, for managers, this must not be a stumbling block, where one is worried to lose an employee because of the great work he or she has performed. A manager will need to cater to everyone in the office, and gauge whether a particular employee’s behaviour is affecting the overall productivity.

  • 2

    Work with facts

    Your evaluation must not be based on assumptions or rumours, and must stand on facts. You may have a rough idea about what is bothering other employees, but you can only support your claims about a particular worker through proper information. It is your responsibility to keep everyone motivated, and that can only work if you build a team culture, where there is equal opportunity for the employees.

  • 3

    Confront the person

    If you have gathered all the necessary information, it is time to confront the person whose behaviour has been inappropriate. Make sure you plan properly, which will include a proper time for the meeting, and the people likely to attend it other than the concerned parties. This may include an HR representative, or some mediator.

    The discussion must pertain to a particular behavioural problem, where your aim is to find a solution. Don’t verbally attack your employee as he or she may not be aware of the problem. You need to describe the unacceptable behaviour and further give room for discussion, where the employee is entitled to respond in his or her defence.

  • 4

    Verbal warning

    A verbal warning will be your course of action, if you find that an employee’s behaviour has indeed violated the organizational codes. However, this step must also include measures which will help the employee get his or her act straight.

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