SafetyWatch: Difficult employees

December 18, 2017 -  By

There are a few common types of difficult employees, but things are rarely as clear-cut as we might like them to be. 

Some employees will be a mix of different types. Others might be completely different types on different days. You have to become good at reading people’s signals, stopping problem behavior early and setting the tone for your crew in terms of acceptable behavior.

You also must resist the temptation to be a difficult person yourself. This task isn’t always easy, especially if you have a problem crew and work pressure is mounting. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt and always remember to protect and advocate for crew members who are doing their jobs and doing them well.

Of course, every case is different, and every crew member is an individual. Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when dealing with difficult employees:

  • Recognize that an attitude problem exists.
  • Try to uncover and acknowledge underlying causes.
  • Help the difficult employee take responsibility for his or her behavior and attitude.
  • Instill and reward positive attitudes and appropriate behavior.
  • Model the right attitude and behavior yourself at all times.
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