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Dealing with problematic employees

Discussion in 'Employees and Human Resources' started by Corazon, Mar 18, 2016.

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  1. Corazon

    Corazon Member

    I had been in the banking business for so long and I once had 95 employees under me. With that number, it is impossible not to have a problematic employee.

    1. There was this good worker but has a problem with attendance, always late and absent once a week.
    2. Another good worker but couldn't work with the team.
    3. A bad worker but a good team player and motivator.

    How do you deal with problematic employees? In my case, I dig deep and try to correct their shortcomings or weaknesses. And for those who couldn't reform, I suggest a drastic action like a transfer or worse... suspension.
  2. Nikita

    Nikita Member

    We don't have that many employees so it's not too difficult for us to deal with them individually. We mostly base our decisions on their personalities. If they start to become problematic but they seem to have the attitude of being able to correct it then we will do our best to just guide them to that point. We do give everyone an equal chance to correct themselves but for some it is a bit obvious that they don't like being there.
    djbaxter likes this.
  3. jona

    jona Member

    In any well run business an employee should know that he is about to get fired even before you tell him by the simple fact that all his objectives should be clear and his performance expectation should be measurable and easy to quantify, so, if he is under performing, even he should be able to realize pretty quickly that he is falling behind and some form of revaluation of his position is coming. Of course, this is a well run business, where objectives are clear, everybody has a mission and there is a process in place that works both for the people and in spite of people. If your process is good enough, it should work independently of the attitude of people.

    That being said, some people are simply not motivated or never clicked with what your organization stands for, like a broken marriage, it is better for everybody to split in amicable terms sometimes.
    Edvin and djbaxter like this.
  4. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    Whether you can do anything with a problem employee depends a lot on their attitude. There are some people who just don't click who you can work with, and there are people who don't want to click who you can't. If someone is enjoying causing trouble then, finding out why and taking away whatever benefit they are getting from it is about the only way it will work. Let them know there is a problem upfront, don't suffer for six months and spring it on them at a review. Then try and work with them to fix it.

    With someone who is always late, adjusting start time might work, or possibly giving flexible hours so their late start also becomes their late finish and their problem. If it is a skills problem then arranging mentoring or training can help. In cases of team fit or personality clash it can be a lot harder but assuming people can act like adults, and that can be a big assumption, discussing the situation can help. In some cases the team leader my need to put their foot down.

    But none of it will work if the employee does not want to change. If they don't care if they lose their job or let people down, then their note going to change, and that's when everything needs to be documented before letting them go.

    In one case I can remember with a non-performing coder, I spoke to him privately and he didn't improve, we arranged a performance plan and met weekly and he didn't improve, I spoke to the team with him and he was assigned a mentor and he never improved. HR spoke to him, and he said he was just bored and would rather play computer games because there were other people (a pejorative was used) to do the work, and that now he'd been hired we were stuck with him. An incorrect assumption. It only took so long because we had to make sure everything was watertight on procedure.
    djbaxter likes this.
  5. Dreamer

    Dreamer Member

    Here in the USA all an employee has to do is go to a crooked doctor and get classified and bipolar the a big lawsuit can happen if they get fired. Outsourcing can be used as a safety net for that atleast until you get to know the employee before you hire them.
  6. VirtualGlobalPhone

    VirtualGlobalPhone Moderator MVP Member


    I guess the issue is not with employees but with the "situation a employee views- executes with their own experience" and become a victim of a failed circumstance.

    As a leader just by understanding who is the better fit for the circumstance / situation makes everything a cake walk.
  7. Nikolas

    Nikolas Member

    I agree!
  8. Brittney

    Brittney Member

    I'm slow to hire and quick to fire. I don't deal with issues.

    Process for some issues - Warning--> Termination

    For other issues- Warning --> Write up --> Termination

    As is evident, I will give people at least one time to correct a genuine mistake, other than that, good luck. I'm on my 4th venture and I've learned, people are only marginally interested and vested in my vision as I am. I will only allow you so many times to continue to show me your (either) disregard for my vision or incapability to do what needs to be done.

    Do what works for you, but don't waste time. Time is one of our most valuable process.

    I'll also note to make sure you are adequately screening candidates during your hiring process (interviews, on-boarding processes and I even do new hire projects to immediately test skills.... IN addition to pre-employment assessments).
  9. Emily Gilbert

    Emily Gilbert Member

    I totally agree with you. Only the leader can understand who will be the best fit for the particular situation.
  10. Small to Feds

    Small to Feds MVP Member Top Contributor

    Have a direct conversation with the employee, present him or her with a specific job description with emphasis on reporting time and a performance review schedule.

    Make sure the description and the schedule identify specific achievements by specific dates and that the criteria for satisfying those achievements includes punctual attendance.

    Set a performance review date at 3 months and another at 6 months.

    At the 3 month review inform the employee of their progress and offer assistance and help.

    At the 6 month review if performance is unsatisfactory, dismiss the employee, recover any company property and show them the door.

    As long as values for the organization are base-lined and maintained in the enterprise mission statement and clearly promulgated in objectives to the employees, then it becomes a management process to carry them out consistently so morale does suffer

    The fact that individual value systems may or may not align with the organization values or changes in them is a communications issue. If the conflict is too stark - people will not perform and leave or be fired.

    In a free society organizations and individuals have choices and "At Will Employment Contracts" are taken literally. In not so free societies other conditions exist that impact on change and they fall outside the category of values. Conditions there are dictated by governments or stark economic conditions.

    In my view, with the global competition for resources and employment these days, business and governments must view the value issue in its simplest terms and not make a complex science out of it.

    People, companies, jobs, resources and success will be achieved through supply and demand. All will change (to include values) to acquire the balance necessary for success.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
    djbaxter likes this.
  11. Saifullah Khan

    Saifullah Khan Member

    I think you should assign work according to their comfort and then slowly ask them to do what they want. Or you can fire them, there is always someone better.

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