The last thing anyone needs is a problem employee. You don’t need it, the company doesn’t need it, and their colleagues don’t need it, either. Here’s a quick guide to spotting and solving the problem.
Spotting a problem
How do you actually identify a problem employee? It’s not always obvious to the employer when an employee presents a problem (although some would argue that it should be!). If it’s causing a big problem with the general workflow, then the problem will be pretty clear soon enough. Otherwise, you may have to rely on employee reports. You can read more about them at https://www.inc.com/guides/2010/04/handle-employee-complaints.html. A mistake that a lot of employers make is not recognizing an employee complaint about another as a problem that affects the business. Laziness is obviously damaging to the business, but what about things like obnoxiousness, or a lack of personal hygiene? What you must remember is that these things affect employee morale.
Can you actually fire them?
Perhaps the problem is really obvious. In fact, the rules were broken pretty flagrantly. There may be a strong temptation to fire them. You need to be strategic about this if you do want to fire them – there’s no shortage of employee problems that you can’t legally fire them for. You also need to recognize the difference between an offense that can result in immediate firing and one that requires a notice period. Consider visiting http://www.elliswhittam.com/5-common-examples-of-gross-misconduct if you need more information on offenses that call for immediate firing. What’s clear is that you need to be very careful about your decision here.
Before deciding on what action you need to take, it may be best to find out if there’s anything going on in the employee’s personal life. While bringing emotional baggage to the office may not be the most professional of things to do, I’m sure that most people can empathize with those who are having a bad time of things.
Most of us have had a bad day at work largely as a result of things that aren’t even taking place at the office. Instead of rushing towards punishment or stern words, consider asking them if they’re okay. You can read more at https://www.peninsulagrouplimited.com/blog/dealing-employees-bring-personal-problems-workplace/. If you know this sort of behavior isn’t very characteristic of them, then you have even more reason to suspect that something may be up.
Discretion benefits everyone
At the end of the day, no matter what the issue is, the best thing to do is be discrete. It not going to work in anyone’s favor if you tell someone off or call them out about a problem in front of everyone. It embarrasses the employee in question and may anger them further; it will also make the other employees feel pretty awkward, and may result in them respecting you a little less. Not a great move for a boss! So if there is a problem, the best thing you can do is email the employee or IM them and requesting a quick private meeting.
*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog