4 Smart Ways to Manage A Negative Employee

Why you need a positive employee

As a great employer, your best resource is your employee(s). The employee in an organization is just as important as the  employer, perhaps, even more important. At least, you have to see it this way, so as to appreciate the importance of maintaining a good employee base as an employer and corporate leader. An organization is just like an organism if one system has a problem — negative employee, it will affect other systems, hence, the whole body.

The staff of a company is an integral system which must be in good condition for the company to achieve its goals. The employee needs to be positive for these goals to be achieved easily and smoothly.

A Personal Experience: Negative Employee(s)

A friend of mine who has an internet service start-up once complained to me how he had to change his staff every time due to one negative reason or the other. There was one who never took records of company activities; sales, debt, inventory, etc. Another one doesn’t respond to customer’s calls quickly because she was always distracted by chatting on her smartphone. And the next one, was almost perfect as he took records very well and attended to correspondences swiftly but he is a compulsive pilferer. My good friend, Tunde was almost losing it, the business was running into huge loss and as a matter of urgency, he needed to salvage the situation.

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I gave him some tips which had worked for many great company executives in the past.
Here are the tips:

1. Listen

As a good employer, you must never underestimate the importance of having a listening ear. Some people whom you see as difficult are just having a ‘difficult’ time. This bad attitude may be as a result of some psychological problems which they are facing at that material time. Move closer, ask questions and make the employer know that you are ready to listen and share their problem. The good effect of a listener’s ear and a kind word can never be overemphasized. As the backbone of the organization, you have to be everyone’s confidant and motivator. Listen carefully to the problems, so that you will know how to approach it with a good solution.

Also, listening to employees boosts their self-esteem as it is seen as a sign of respect. As Meghan M. Biro said, “Employees engage with employers and brands when they’re treated as humans worthy of respect.” It is very important to listen to your employees. That might just make a big difference.

2. Consistency

In a situation whereby you are not comfortable with a certain bad or negative behavior from an employee, do not condone it sometimes and forbid it at other times. You should always forbid it and correct the negative employee any time the behavior is exhibited.

For example, if you give an instruction to arrive at meetings 10 mins before the scheduled time, do not ignore the flouting of that rule sometimes and ostracize at other times. The consistency sends a message of absolute reproval. This makes change faster.

3. Set and execute consequences

There is a thin line between being a compassionate boss and being neglecting. You should not be too soft on dishing out a penalty for a negative attitude that may spell doom for your company. Negative attitude from anyone (negative employee or otherwise) in an organization is like a wound in a part of a body which if left carelessly to fester, it would soon affect the whole body and wreak havoc on it.

When an employee does something wrong and repeats the same after several corrections, you may have to set and execute a punishment. Never mince discipline. Steven Covey said, “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out”. I would especially stress “carrying it out”.

Carrying out discipline is to set a penalty and execute it when the person flouts the rule. It goes a long way in promoting a positive attitude in any organization. It serves as a mode of correction and more importantly as a deterrent to others. Discipline as per penalty is a very important step in dealing with a difficult or negative employee.

4. Documentation

As a good manager, you should always keep records of everything, even the minute details about activities in your organization. Make it a point of importance to always have a written record of all the negative things the employee has done so that when you take action there would be something to show for it, there would be a proof.

The record should show the development of ‘conflict’; the day it happened first, the day you warned, the day you ordered a penalty, and how it finally ended, bad or good; changed or sacked, etc.

This will also help anyone who gets into your position in future to deal with similar occurrences.

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Bottom Line

When you have a difficult or negative employee, do not fold your arms and watch him wreak havoc on the Corporate policy with his negative attitude or bad behavior. Deal with him strategically for the desired result and to create a solution standard in the company or business.

And you don’t have to be confused about the best strategy to use. The four enumerated above are smart steps and would aid your employees to radiate in a glow of good attitude.

Be the leader, be the boss and, and stay in charge.

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