Four Steps to Deal With Difficult Employee Behaviors

Master these four steps to deal with difficult employee behaviors. Getting people to do what you need them to do is challenging, especially in times of great change and uncertainty, which we are in. We have people working remotely, where distance has eroded trust, or people working more than ever! Stress levels of all people are high right now because most people fear the unknown... Sheesh, we're in a perfect storm for conflict right now.

I'll bet just knowing that makes you feel better, because we're all in this together, we haven't been here before, and we're writing the rule book or how to guides as we're moving through it.

I'm going to rely on some foundational steps that I've been using for years to teach people how to deal with difficult employee behavior. The four steps cycle can be entered at any point but all steps should be completed.


  • Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback - is a skill that always needs about as much exercise as your abs do during this pandemic. (Someone told me recently that they needed to socially distance from their refrigerator and flatten their curve!! LOL, can you relate? I sure can) People have a big appetite for feedback, so feed it.
  • Setting Boundaries?- People feel safer with boundaries, than without them, even if their initial reaction to them smells like dead fish... their respect for their leaders increases when boundaries are established and maintained.
  • Having Difficult Conversations - This is the step most people would rather sweep under the carpet. Feel the fear and do it anyway! It gets easier with time.
  • Follow Up and Follow Through - My favorite step because I get to say FU... meaning Follow Up and follow through... everyone respects a leader who sets a standard and holds true to it.

The benefits are conversations, clarity, consistency and compliance, and that's a foundation you can build your greatest castle upon. I'll dive deeper into each of these steps for dealing with difficult behaviors over the next four weeks so keep a look out for my weekly leadership tips.

Article Source: