Tips to Managing Smart Employees With Bad Attitudes
If you have an employee who fails to contribute, is detrimental to performance, and has a negative, toxic attitude to boot, the solution is simple: Find a replacement and let them go.
But how do you go about managing employees whose attitudes are terrible, but whose intelligence, knowledge and performance levels are above expectations?
Many managers look the other way and simply ignore the issue in hopes it will go away on its own. This may work – once in a great while. But in most cases, over time, it does irreparable damage to teams and businesses.
Consider these statistics from recent research on the topic:
- Eighty-seven percent of employees surveyed said they wanted to change jobs while working with someone who had a bad attitude.
- Ninety-three percent said they were less productive as a result.
Clearly, it’s better to take action to resolve the situation than just cross your fingers and hope for a miracle.
Communicate with the employee.
Open communication is critical to effectively managing employees, especially those whose attitudes need a makeover. Start your conversation with a problem employee by explaining you wish it wasn’t necessary, but for the sake of team morale and camaraderie, you have no choice.
- Let your top performer know they’re an important part of the team, but they need to play by the same rules as everyone else. And be sure they realize the consequences of what will happen if no change occurs. Depending on your company policy, it could mean being put on a performance improvement plan, being denied a raise or promotion or even being terminated. Make sure the individual clearly understands the facts.
Collect concrete evidence.
Before you meet with your employee, gather precise examples of how their attitude and related behaviors have hurt their co-workers and the company. Document and share them.
Address the negative behavior.
Be very clear about the specific behaviors your employee needs to change. For instance, if they are constantly cynical or pessimistic about plans or projects, tell them they need to keep those thoughts to themselves or share them privately with you, instead of broadcasting them for everyone to hear.
Help your employee improve.
Your communication with a problem employee may not be easy, but this doesn’t mean it should be negative or punitive. Yes, the problem and the possible consequences need to be covered. But then, let them know you’re there every step of the way to help them improve. In the case of that chronic complainer, for example, perhaps you should give them a seat at the table to help design and plan your next new initiative.
When you approach the situation the right way, your message is more likely to be heard and understood – and the end results could be a change for the better for everyone involved.
Need to Find Qualified Candidates With Better Attitudes?
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Published on Sep 24, 2019