Do You Dislike An Employee?
If you have been managing people for a while, you have bumped into an employee you don’t like. They may be performing, but the style of their interactions with you may annoy or frustrate you. Your dislike could be for any number of reasons: they are always seeing a problem in a situation, challenge you constantly, or complain to others on a consistent basis. Whatever your reason for dislike, you still need to manage them.
The assumption in motivating people is to praise behavior that you want repeated. Well negative behavior also requires your quick attention. Keep in mind that what is negative to you may not be to other managers, so it is your perspective. Having said that, you still need to handle their behaviors. Here are some thoughts you can use to manage an employee you don’t like.
- If an employee has a negative comment to make, don’t let it go by, instead ask them what they mean by it. Though their style is offensive to you, they may have information that is valuable to you. At least, you will get them to own their behavior and not just make comments without explaining themselves.
- There are employees who always see the problems with any change. They could be good to have on your team as they may see legitimate issues. Though I would recommend that you ask them to come up potential solutions to the issues they see. If you see this employee as a resource instead of an annoyance, you will reframe your view of them and it will be easier to manage.
Some thoughts around your management style:
- Keep in mind that you can only change yourself so if you are managing a difficult person, figure out a way to see it differently.
- Be specific with what is acceptable and not acceptable with an employee’s behavior.
- If you just can’t handle a certain behavior, let them know. Employees need to know in order to change. If an employee complains too much, have them come up with solutions to their problems and meet again to discuss.
- Don’t take an employee’s behavior personally. For example, if you have a challenging employee, don’t assume they view your decisions as incorrect. This person may challenge everyone and that is their style of interacting. Once you realize this, you can respond differently and manage your reaction and their behavior better.
- Always, always treat others with respect. If your reaction is intense, take time out to calm down your emotions and deal with your frustrations more effectively.
- Talk to other managers to see how they deal with behaviors that are frustrating.
- An employee’s behavior probably will impact their performance, and if so, you need to address the performance issues quickly. If they are tied to behaviors, be specific around how the behavior is impacting their work.
If you find yourself lashing out at an employee because you are frustrated, it will not serve either one of you. I recommend that you discuss with the employee how the behavior is impacting you or the team. Use “I” statements in presenting your point of view. Have them brainstorm with you to find an acceptable solution for both of you. An employee may need to voice their frustrations and this could be part of the discussion.
Be proactive as a manager in finding solutions to issues. Don’t let them fester as both you and the employee’s performance will be impacted. Find solutions to people issues.
**********More on CHALLENGING EMPLOYEES**********
3 Steps to Handling Challenging Employees