How to deal with problem employees
• INTRO You must introduce and define the topic in relationship to supervision Problem employees inevitably surface in most workplaces and sometimes employers need to counsel their employees and on occasions employers must discipline the employee. In an organization top-management often formulate the standards that supervisors must use when they have to deal with problem employees. A supervisor must have the skills required to organize, staff, lead, and control which includes the ability and talent required to deal with problem employees.
In the workplace sometimes employee problems are obvious, such as attendance issues or the failure to deliver results. Other times, a workplace harbors a problem and an employer might not immediately know the cause until the issue explodes. In order to gain a better understanding of employee problems it is necessary to discuss the most common and un-common types. First, the most common types involve performance issues, absenteeism and tardiness, insubordination and uncooperativeness, alcohol and drug abuse, workplace violence, and theft.
Most everyone has worked around an employee who has been unable to meet reasonable company production standards by not having the skills required for the job, slower than acceptable production rates, or even poor work quality. A problem employee that lacks the skills required for a job can be a serious concern for any organization and should be dealt with my supervisors appropriately. A supervisor is often quick to assume that an employee lacks the skills for their job so it is very important that the supervisor try to ascertain if the employee really lacks the skills necessary for the satisfactory performance of his or her duties, or if another issue is negatively affecting his or her ability to perform. Often, when a leader assumes that an employee cannot do a job for lack of skill, the real problem is actually centered on sloppiness. And sloppiness is almost always correctable. The American Management Association (AMA) recommends a first step for supervisors to take if a problem is skill-oriented, and that is to decide whether or not there is something the supervisor or the organization can do to improve the employee’s skills. Can a coworker help bring the employee up to speed? Would a professional seminar be worthwhile? Would studying a book or instructional software help? A supervisor also should evaluate how important the deficient skill actually is within the performance scope of the particular job. A supervisor should consider how strong the employee might be in other aspects of job performance. A machine shop supervisor, for instance, may be not be great at giving performance reviews but absolutely terrific at scheduling and maintaining production runs and inventory management. Obviously, his or her strengths far outweigh the weaknesses in effectively carrying out the primary responsibilities of the job. It is often OK to have an employee with a serious weakness, as long as you are aware of the problem area and the employee compensates for one skill deficiency with a super skill strength. However, in some cases a supervisor may feel that an employee employee should not remain in the current position, a super visor should think about moving him or her to another area or level of responsibility within the company. An article published by Harvard University states that there are two advantages to this strategy. First, since a supervisor already knows where the employee’s strengths and weaknesses lie, they have a good idea of what capacity he or she might satisfactorily perform in—much more so than they would for a new employee, for instance. Second, it is demoralizing for other employees to see a coworker fired, especially if that employee was trying hard at the job. Therefore,
Absenteeism and tardiness...