Most of us can relate to having the occasional bad day at work. But for the problem employee, negativity, poor attitude and unacceptable behaviour is “business as usual”.
Let’s go on record here to what we mean by a “problem employee”. We’re talking the chronically negative employee whose bad attitude, regular conflict with co-workers and management and generally poor performance makes him or her a threat to a positive workplace culture, company productivity and profits.
When you have a problem employee – particularly when their negative attitude is wilful or malicious – they affect (and infect) everyone around them. The most significant way a problem employee affects a business is through the decrease in morale in those who have to work with this person on a daily basis.
There are any number of reasons workers underperform. Common ones include
In most situations, the problem employee has got to this stage because they’ve been permitted to; often because of their manager’s dislike of confrontation. We’ve written previously on this topic and that a recent global study of nearly 8000 managers found that 44% of supervisors are fearful and anxious about giving negative feedback, with one fifth avoiding the practice altogether.
Whatever the reason/s for their negative behaviour, problem employees cannot be allowed to proceed unchecked, as there’s much more at risk than just their own job performance or future with the company.
So what can an employer do with a problem employee?
Problem? Not any more.
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