Every business is dependent on its workforce, but small businesses are more reliant on their staff than larger organisations. When you’re relying on a small team to achieve commercial success or you’re working together in a relatively small space, any issues can be magnified and have a devastating impact on your operations.
While disputes can arise from time to time, things can be even more complicated if you have a difficult employee to deal with. To help you navigate the situation, take a look at these four top tips for dealing with a difficult employee in your small business:
Review Your In-House Policies
As an employer, you should have established policies for dealing with complaints, grievances and poor performance. However, many small businesses don’t have custom processes in place. Seeking advice from employment law consultants will help you to determine what your duties are under the law and enable you to create bespoke policies that will govern your staff and your business.
When you’re dealing with a difficult employee, it’s vital to follow established policies and promote transparency. By revising these policies now, you can ensure that every member of the team is treated fairly and equally in accordance with your company’s established management policies.
Listen to Their Issues
If an employee is being difficult, it’s tempting to tune out their complaints or simply assume that they’re being difficult for the sake of it. However, actually listening to their issues could shed new light on the situation. In some cases, a ‘difficult employee’ might have a legitimate grievance or even a personal issue that’s affecting their behaviour at work.
When you give them the opportunity to be heard, it can have a transformative effect on their conduct and enable you to put appropriate remedies in place.
Provide Fair Feedback
When you’re unhappy with an employee’s behaviour, it’s vital to take action. Using the company’s policies to guide you, offer feedback that will help the employee to change the way they work. Sometimes, people are unaware that they come across as abrasive or combative, but the right feedback can help them to communicate in a more collaborative and effective way.
Protect Your Team
One difficult employee can have a big impact on the team as a whole, so don’t let ongoing issues affect morale. While dealing with difficult employees can be nerve-wracking for small business owners, getting the right advice and taking swift action can protect the rest of your workforce and your company. After all, you don’t want to lose productive members of staff because of a poor working environment caused by a difficult employee.
Fostering a Harmonious Atmosphere at Work
Every employer should have a strategy in place to achieve a positive and harmonious environment at work. However, there are times when a difficult employee will appear to thwart any efforts you make to cultivate a happy and productive workplace. With the right professional support, however, you can find appropriate ways to remedy the situation and safeguard your small business.