Employee Counseling

You can smile and pretend that everything is okay, but sometimes employees need an adjustment. There are employees who get lazy and careless about their jobs. An employee might speak inappropriately to other employees. Other times, you get insubordinate employees who don’t know their place. How do you deal with this problem? An attitude adjustment can make things better. Still, there are times you just have to get rid of a problem employee if he or she won’t accept that there is a problem.

Red Flags of Behavior Problems

The following is a list of attributes that commonly occur with problem employees.

  1. Defensive behavior. The employee is easily offended, irritable, and unable to accept criticism
  2. Emotional outbursts. There is tearfulness, anger outbursts, or shutting down and becoming silent.
  3. Laziness. There is avoidance of doing the job he or she was hired to do, avoiding work, and over-socializing.
  4. Insubordination. The employee oversteps job boundaries and intends to place him or herself in a position of power over others.
  5. Insensitivity. The employee is making inappropriate or rude comments to other employees.

The first step toward dealing with this problem is recording the problem. Every infraction and problematic action should be recorded, and witnesses should be asked to give statements on the action. Behavior problems in the workplace are usually not a one-time event. While every employee has a bad day once in a while, these signs point out a potential problem. The more often they happen, the more likely you are heading down a bad road.

Do not hold personal grudges. Oftentimes, employees with behavior problems are suffering from problems that they haven’t resolved themselves so that they can work nicely with others. You have to keep your assessment and discussions work-related. Don’t wait too long to sit down and speak with an employee about the trouble you have noticed.

Be specific and clear about what has happened (referring to recorded events will help to keep it nonpersonal) and what behavior will not be tolerated in the future. You want this person to succeed, but if he or she is unable to improve performance, that employee must understand the consequences. Clearly state what must change in order for the employee to continue in the business and what infractions will result in termination.

It’s simple once you’ve documented the behavior, explained the problem, defined necessary change, and clarified the consequences of not changing. If an employee chooses to continue in his or her behavior, it’s easier to terminate him or her. Employees with behavior problems will destroy a business and a good work environment, so do the best thing for everyone and deal with problems quickly.