Handling Difficult Employees: Dealing with Naysayers
Whether you own a large company or small business, you are always going to run into a handful of naysayers. Unfortunately, negative employees can infect your whole team, because bad attitudes fester and spread. Who are the naysayers They are the ones who complain whether things are going right or wrong. To them, the glass is always half empty. Naysayers tend to gossip, whine, and generate toxic vibes as a matter of course. Handling difficult employees can be tricky, but it’s not something to sidestep. Since there’s very little chance that they’ll change on their own, you are going to have to take action. Basically, you want the sourpusses to either change their attitudes or hit the road. You simply can’t afford for them to stay and bring down your business.
Be Aware of the Costs of Negativity
Cranky, disengaged workers are not just a pain to be around. They are costing your company money. Negative employees are responsible for:
-Draining dollars out of your payroll
-Negatively impacting productivity
Handling difficult employees must be done to protect the morale of your organization and to protect your bottom line.
Identify the Naysayer’s Type
Not all challenging workers are cut from the same cloth. There are several classifications that problem employees fall into, and it will take a different tactic to handle each dysfunctional type of behavior. Which kind of problematic worker are you dealing with
-A Whiner: The ultimate naysayer is the one who constantly whines. He or she has a complaint about pretty much everything and everyone: the boss, his or her coworkers, the building he or she works in, and even the taste of the coffee in the break room. To stop his or her pouting and whining, ask the employee to directly communicate with you about any beef that they may have. Simply hearing a person out can sometimes put an end to the whininess.
-A Negative Nancy or Norman: This naysayer really does say ïnayï a lot. He or she has a list of reasons why things cannot be accomplished. To turn this individual around, say, ïI hear why we can’t. Now show me how we can.ï
-An Excuse Maker: This individual can never quite fulfill his or her job duties and has a list of excuses at all time. Of course, things happen, but if you have a worker who just can’t make it to any finish line in terms of results, it’s time to take action. To cure the excuse maker, institute a ïno excuses allowedï policy.
-A Gossip: Dishing dirt about others is an act of emotional violence in the workplace. Backstabbing and telling tales behind others’ backs is a toxic practice that must be nipped in the bud. To stop gossip from infecting your workplace, make a ïno gossipï rule and mean it. Encourage your team to remind any gossipers of the ironclad rule to close the door to scuttlebutt.
-A Narcissist: Instead of being a team player, this employee is only concerned about him or herself. It’s all about the ego. If this person is an extremely talented individual who brings success to the company in some ways, you might be able to keep him or her around by giving out solo work assignments.
-A Ghost: Do you have an employee who you never see This person seems to always be sick or running late or ducking out for a few minutes that turn into hours. Time to have a heart to heart with this ghost. Directly tell him or her that the disappearing act has got to go.
If the above cures don’t work in handling difficult employees, you can always have the hard conversation. Let them know you’ve noticed that they’re not very happy with their job. Tell them you would like them to either find a way to be satisfied in their position or to follow their heart and go elsewhere.
Wrap It Up
Along with the above specific solutions, wrap it up by remembering a few basics about handling difficult employees. They are:
-Give clear, direct feedback about your observations regarding their behavior.
-Document everything that is said and done pertaining to the situation.
-Be consistent with rules.
-Set behavioral boundaries
-Outline consequences if changes aren’t made.
Having a jerk-free work zone benefits your company, the rest of your employees, and your bottom line. You are in business to create a high quality service or product, and with positive, engaged employees, you can do just that. For more tips on handling difficult employees and bettering your company, check out the tools and articles on Mighty Recruiter.