Do you have an office troublemaker?

by | 04.11.19

Are you a Manager who has someone in your office who constantly causes trouble? If so, this information could help you.  Disgruntled employees can affect moral, workflow and undermine common goals. Maybe you’ve tried to ignore the situation in the hope that the employee will either leave the Company or miraculously develop a better attitude. If neither of these things happen, perhaps it’s time for you to take action. There is no question about it, you have a serious challenge ahead of you, here are some tips:

Do they have value in their role?

The first thing to determine when assessing what action to take is whether the employee has any value to the Company. If the person in question does add value but has a behavioural problem, it is probably worth your time to find a solution. If the employee is easily replaced perhaps it is worth letting them go, after all one bad apple contaminates the whole barrel.

Confront the situation

Confrontation is not easy, but when one employee’s behaviour is beginning to affect other members of staff it is time to deal with the problem. Call a meeting with the employee and tell them how others in the office perceive their behaviour and actions. Work with the employee to decide how they can correct their behaviour and become a happy and satisfied member of the team.

Do not tolerate bad behaviour

If the employee is confrontational or aggressive, immediately enforce a policy of no tolerance. Such behaviour can escalate fast and the results could harm your otherwise happy team. Identify the severity of the behaviour and work out your options of dealing with it, take legal advice if needed.

Gossiping and talking about others is not acceptable

If you have an employee gossiping maliciously about other members of staff, or more seriously criticizing the management team you need to get them to move on as quickly as possible. This sort of person is sneaky and underhand and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Snidy people who whisper to others are very dangerous.

Justifying bad behaviour

An employee justifying bad behaviour to others needs nipping in the bud. An employee who has been disciplined for perhaps attendance or timekeeping who then justifies their behaviour to colleagues and says the management is out of order for disciplining them is a very dangerous person. This behaviour needs to be confronted as this person clearly thinks that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing, it is you who are wrong for telling them off.

Communicate with others

If you are working with an employee to try resolve their behaviour problem make sure that the rest of the staff are aware that the situation is being managed and that hopefully the individual will alter their behaviour, but it needs to be made clear that bad behaviour in the Company is not acceptable.

Be serious about your intentions

Make sure the troublesome employee understands that you are not prepared to tolerate their bad attitude, you will try to help them improve their behaviour if possible but they need to know that the Company has to look after all employees and any unpleasant behaviour is not acceptable.

Termination time

If an employee refuses to change and every avenue has been exhausted, terminating their employment needs to be seriously considered. It is important in the workplace that a safe, professional and happy environment is there for everyone.

So, to summarise a troublemaker can be very dangerous and make the rest of the team unhappy, unsettled and unproductive. Do something about them if you can. If not go to someone more senior in the Company, they may not be aware of what is going on and will be able to support you.  

Good Luck.