One of the reasons you struck out on your own and left corporate was to avoid all of those employee issues that just drove you crazy. You knew that as an entrepreneur, in a more ‘controlled’ environment, you could prevent the clowns from entering your workplace. Well, you were wrong! Now, the question is, how do you identify the difficult employees and deal with them?
Identifying and Dealing with the Difficult Employees
So, now that you have had a dose of reality, it is time to refocus on growing your business. There is not a single entrepreneur who has employees that have not had to deal with difficult ones.
First and foremost, you must reset your priorities. To move things forward, your mindset should be that you spend 90% of your time with staff that are professional and focused on getting things done. Only 10% of your time should be spent on dealing with the problems of the difficult. This takes a strong focus and mindset for most entrepreneurs. This doesn’t mean that you are not fair, reasonable and understanding. What this concept means is that you will not allow bad behavior to run your business and consume your valuable time.
The next change must come in your culture and that starts at the top…with you! You must make it clear that your work place is ‘clown-free’. This means that you must clearly outline expectations and ensure communications up and down are free and clear. Empower your staff to feel free to call out ‘clown’ behavior in a clear and appropriate manner. Word travels fast in the work environment, and all things will float to the top. Don’t make loud corrections, but when you do hear about them, a quiet word with both parties is required. They need to know what is right and what is wrong, from the top. Make sure you are supportive of exactly what you expect in your workplace.
You must inspect what you expect and be consistent every time. Deal with issues in a quick, fair manner. Hesitation in dealing with issues sends a clear message to difficult employees that you are accepting bad behavior.
A Workplace of Excellence
No matter how great your business is, difficult employees will bring your business down quickly. Deal with it and turn things around. If you are struggling, it is time to put on your ‘grown-up pants’ and deal with the issues clearly and upfront. When you are consistent, clear and timely when dealing with issues, you will earn the respect of your staff.