Insights Offered to Cope With 'Problem' Employees

Insights Offered to Cope With 'Problem' Employees

Every kitchen and bath design firm has problem employees, and managers can find themselves spending more time coaxing and cajoling those people every day than dealing with "real" work. Ironically, personnel specialists point out, the biggest problem employees are often the most productive ones making every day a balancing act between value gained and annoyance delivered.

Unproductive employees are generally not a problem for very long you simply terminate them and find productive ones. However, what about the employee who is driving you nuts but is still delivering good work?

Personnel experts offer the following insights:
A person who feels the need to challenge authority often feels that your company needs him more than he needs your company. The up side of this situation is that such a person is often highly self-motivated. He seeks out problems and solves them on his own, and he'll do whatever it takes to get the job done on his own, without the constant need for supervision. The way to bring this kind of employee into line is to call his bluff. Set fair limits to his behavior and enforce them. At the same time, if you can figure out ways for him to be recognized as a hero when he does well, you'll positively reward him, not over-control him.

Another problem employee is the persistent "worrier." This employee is uncomfortable when people are happy, he's often a hypochondriac, and he can find the cloud with every silver lining. However, he also invariably shows up early to work, and heads off problems before they happen. These are the kind of employees who need their self-confidence reinforced. Provide them with safe experiences at which they can be successful, and give them positive comments.

Got somebody who's totally disorganized? Someone who loses things, forgets details, seems to have no goals and a short attention span? These are usually the most down-to-earth and likeable people on your staff and may, in fact, be the glue that holds your organization together. This kind of person also tends to be enthusiastic and unselfish. A time management schedule may help, as well as a daily action plan you both can review. 

The person who reports to work late and leaves early often with a long lunch break in between is particularly trying. Sure, the work gets done, but nothing you and your company do ever seems worth the trouble to this person. He has no energy, and always complains that everything was better in the good old days. He's likely to be your top performer, and often the person your company has employed the longest. 
Your chore here is to re-energize and re-prioritize him. Don't overburden him with high expectations, but think about soliciting his insight and experience as you make your management decisions. Discuss his goals and future plans. He's likely to respond positively to incentives for specific goals that are met. Also, consider having him train other employees.

By focusing on existing strengths and ways to improve the performance of these employees, personnel experts believe you'll find yourself spending less time dealing with tantrums and excuses and more time dealing with the needs of your business.