Recently, a department head contacted us to talk about his problems with one of his technicians.
Marthe is a unionized employee with 10 years of service in the same company. She has a very negative attitude, refuses to collaborate with her colleagues, openly challenges company rules and is never satisfied when asked to make changes.
According to the manager, even her co-workers find the work climate unhealthy because of Martha’s behaviour.
When we asked the manager what he had done to resolve the issue, he replied, “I thought that with time, things would work out, but today I realize that nothing can be done to change her behaviour, she is a frustrated employee. Even the previous manager was unable to rectify her attitude at work. ”
If you have a problem with an employee whose behaviour is unsatisfactory- do not wait, intervene quickly to resolve the situation. Adopting a similar demeanour, as this manager had done, is a serious mistake.
- Intervene quickly
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Get to the point through facts and observations
- Request employee collaboration to find solutions
- Listen with empathy
- Take notes
- Support and trust employee
- Follow up
To rectify the behaviour of an employee takes much stamina.
- Confront him/her as soon as possible with a positive attitude and describe to him/her the unwanted behaviour or problem with facts or observations; do not beat around the bush.
- Voice your concerns and feelings and ask if he/she is willing to work together with you to solve the problem.
Next, listen empathically to their version of the story without getting angry, and don’t forget to take notes.
- Empower him/her and ask for collaboration in finding solutions. Evaluate and note possible solutions.
- Let him/her know the changes you would like to see and how such changes can improve the situation.
- See eye-to-eye on solutions, specifying the actions to be taken and set a follow-up date
- In a non-threatening tone, but in a clear and firm manner, explain what steps will be taken if the situation persists.
- Before ending the meeting, acknowledge your trust by mentioning a positive element or improvement observed.
If you cannot find a solution, be creative because:
“For every problem, there are at least two solutions”