You have to face different situations daily, whether you are at work or at home. But when you are running an organization, and you have to handle a large group of employees, then you need to be skilled at handling them. Today you will get to know about managing difficult employees. And you will also get some tips here about how to deal with difficult stakeholders.
1. Define Difficult Employees
An employee, who fails to fulfill his or her duties and continues to behave unprofessionally, is known as a difficult employee. There are different types of difficult employees, like dramatic employees, hysterical employees, lazy employees, over-ambitious employees, and skeptical employees. (See What Is Parentification?)
2. Types of Difficult Employees
- Dramatic employees: These employees will always be in the mood to cry or create a scene. Somehow, they can find a bit of drama in everyday situations. But when unfortunately they cannot get it, naturally they try to create one. They will even involve other employees and make the office environment a marketplace. (See Am I Passive Aggressive?)
- Lazy employees: Employees with constant underrated performance are the lazy ones. They are more interested in shifting their responsibility to others and getting their work done. But if their work is not done, even then, they are the least bothered by it.
- Over-Ambitious employees: In managing difficult employees, understand that such employees are always willing to cross the line between determination and madness. They try so hard to be perfect that it starts affecting others. They become so self-centered that they lose all empathy for their colleagues.
- Skeptical employees: Employees with a never-changing bad mood are the skeptical ones. They always have a plain face without any enthusiasm, joy, or any other emotion. They are just plain inside out while they have the capability to make others fall into a bad mood just by watching them.
- Mutinous employees: Such employees exhibit insubordination, that is, intentionally disobeying the employer, spreading rumors, making rude or hostile remarks during the meeting, or terminating events assigned by their superior. They can show this once or twice, or maybe it can become habitual.
- Hysterical employees: The employees behaving like silly clowns are hilarious employees. Their main goal is to make everyone laugh, even at the cost of their own insult or bad performance. Such people are always ready for the fun gala, causing distractions for other employees as well. They are busy gossiping and even indulge in bullying. (See 7 Signs That You Talk Too Much)
3. Steps For Managing Difficult Employees
It is a difficult task to manage such employees, but as an employer, it is your responsibility to see if they are having some problems, or they are intentionally causing issues. Take a look at the points below to understand how to cope with such situations.
- Identify the cause: Before blindly going with what your favorite manager or employee tells you, it is better to identify who and what the actual issue is. In managing difficult employees, understand that possibly the real issue is the behavior of your favorite employee or manager. Analyze before reacting to a situation. Must read psychology behind vicarious embarrassment.
- Understand your role: Sometimes the employee is not the sole reason behind their problematic behavior. You can also be the reason behind it because they might have come to you to inform you about their work pressure, their irritating or lazy teammates, or some other issues. Now think, are they doing it intentionally to undermine you or are they really disturbed? Try to find out the reason behind their lack of motivation towards their work. Is it because of the lack of skill, or do they lack training? Is the employee bored with the same work or has been doing things over the top?
- Note down their behavior and try to listen: It is better to note down their bad behaviors or situations where they caused issues. It will be like a record of their bad behavior with which you can take further actions in the future. Once you have records, call them and have a face-to-face conversation. But before giving your judgment, try to listen to them. It is necessary to have a clear view of the situation from both sides and then decide. (See What is the Difference Between Hearing and Listening?)
- Criticize the behaviors and not the people: You need the employees to be productive at their jobs, so instead of judging them for their actions, consider their work. While managing difficult employees, criticize the behaviors they exhibit and try to figure out a way to change their attitude towards work.
- Feedbacks are important: You need to mention and inform your employee about your feedback regarding their behavior so that they can rectify their mistakes. They should be aware of the fact that they cannot just ruin things like this and go away with it.
- Work according to the company’s norms: You need to follow the protocol, but even after talking, and other tools did not work, set up a consequence list and inform them. Be strict in following this list to make sure there is an improvement. As a manager or supervisor, do not use bad words just to handle the situation because it is going to worsen it. Analyze and conclude about that person accurately instead of just bad-mouthing him.
- Keep checking on their progress: Giving out instructions is not enough. You have to keep an eye on them to note down their progress because it may happen that some are progressing as per expectations while others are ruining their professionalism. (See What would You Like to Become When You Grow Up?)
4. Define Stakeholders
A person, organization, or a group of people having a stake in the progress and profits of a project are known as stakeholders. Project teams, managers, sponsors, investors, and sometimes customers are examples of stakeholders. While managing difficult employees, remember they have the power to internally or externally influence the project which may hamper the situation of stakeholders. (See PhD Vs PsyD in Psychology)
5. How to Deal with Difficult Stakeholders?
Follow the points mentioned below.
- Identify the stakeholders and their stake in your project. This will help you to determine how to deal with whom.
- Categorize them as primary like those who benefit greatly from the success of a project, like customers, secondary (those who are not directly benefitting but want the project to run smoothly, like the project management team), and key (the major investors who will gain the most from the success of the project).
- Maintain your calm and listen patiently and carefully to them. Understand their motives and answer their queries through objective-type points.
- Maintain professionalism while talking with them. Try to keep in touch with stakeholders to build their trust in you and the project.
- Try to be clearer and crisper with your ideas and words. If your decision is beneficial for the project and your organization, stay firm and keep moving ahead by taking as many stakeholders on board as possible. (See What is Priming Theory?)
Now you know the steps for managing difficult employees along with how to deal with difficult stakeholders. Do share your feedback and help your entrepreneur friends by sharing this article with them. (Also read The 10 Types Of Personality Disorder)