Problem Employees & How HR Should Handle Them

nickijenns
HR Manager
Tech 24
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An organization has a variety of employees that are different from one another. However, not all of them are a liability on the management and the Human resource department like the ‘problem employees’. Problem employees are an inseparable part of an organization. They are there in the company to offer a constant headache to the HR and the management than doing anything more productive.  Not only they occupy a good amount of your time, but they also can be harmful to the stability of your business environment.

Thus, it becomes imperative to keep a check on these problem employees. It is needless to say that this issue can be contagious and soon can affect more and more of your workforce, so before the problem spreads, it is advisable to follow the below process:

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Identify the problem:

As per the facts and figures, every workforce has a small portion of problem employees. Despite being a few in numbers, these employees consume the maximum productive time of the management and HR department. In fact, if there are problem employees in your workforce, you will easily identify them right from the start. These employees can be identified as suspicious, disgruntled, apathetic and will have lots of issues primarily related to attendance, punctuality, and discipline. To add to your plight, they are smart and can easily use the labor laws and reinforcement to get the maximum advantage, thanks to the information available online. 

Risk Management:

The number of employee lawsuits has reached its peak and we are still counting. As such a litigious time, managing problem employees is one of the toughest job responsibilities of HR department. You cannot avoid an underperformer just because of the fear of litigation. You need to deal with the problem employees by solving their problem. Here are easy ways to do that:

  • Having a strict attendance policy is a must; the policy must have a disciplinary measure to address the issue of absenteeism and tardiness.
  • You must have a performance management and review system to appreciate the performers and identify the underperformers.
  • Establishing three stage disciplinary process- verbal warning, first written a warning and final written warning.
  • Training to the supervisors to deal with problem employees at their end.

If you wish to strengthen your system more, you must draft effective interviewing and hiring policies and also design unambiguous job descriptions.

Be Proactive:

You must not wait for the problem to arise. Besides being proactive for the visible characteristics of a problem employee, you must also take a deep dig in your policies, rules and policy handbooks. You must have updated policy and handbooks that let you deal with the problem effectively. Some tips for doing this include:

  • Are your documents in compliance with all the laws of the land?
  • Does your employee handbook chalk out the ideal and acceptable behavior from an employee?
  • Are you offering a safe working environment to the employees?
  • Are your policies respectable and considerate for the employees?
  • Do you have an efficient redressal forum?
  • Is there an efficient complaint registration process?
  • Are you paying the employees at par?
  • Do you have an effective reward system?

Offer some personal help:

Many times it is one or the other personal issues that make the employees cause problems at the workplace. It might be a financial, personal, marital or societal problem. Although, it comes out of the purview of the Human Resource department formal problem-solving responsibility, offering a bit of a personal help might save you from a big problem in the future. For instance, if an employee of your organization is undergoing a divorce process, offering him/her some help in finding the best Queen County Divorce Lawyer can help you in preventing serious harm to your organization.

Documents:

If you are left with no other option than firing an employee, the accuracy of the documents will help you in effective execution. You must have all the performance management records and any disciplinary memos well maintained in the file to present at the court room for swift proceedings.

This can help you in dealing with the problem employees effectively and boost the productivity of your company.

About nickijenns

Nicki Jenns

Nicki Jenns is HR manager and word news expert, motivational speaker and author. She is passionate about the impact of health and family issues. 

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