Lady with her head in her hands looking stressed at work

How to manage challenging employee behaviour

Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager

If you’re in a manager or team leader role, you’ll need to know how to deal with challenging employee behaviour.

When individual staff members are displaying challenging behaviour at work, it impacts the organisation as a whole. In addition to stress and conflict, it can result in poor team performance, low productivity, and a negative work environment.

If left unchecked, challenging employee behaviour can also lead to higher absenteeism and staff turnover, affecting your company’s reputation and bottom line.

That’s why addressing challenging behaviour should be a top priority for employers and managers.

Understanding difficult employees

Challenging employee behaviour is part and parcel of being a manager.

It’s inevitable that at some point, you will find yourself faced with an employee who is difficult to deal with, has trouble working with others, or continually fails to deliver.

Sometimes these team members don’t even mean to be challenging or difficult – they may be experiencing low mental health or have other external factors influencing their behaviour. But you will also come up against individuals who are aware that their actions are negative or obstructive for the team.

Whatever the reason, it's best to deal with challenges sooner, rather than later, before it impacts your team’s performance.

For additional information, be sure to read our article on managing employee conflict.

Managing challenging employee behaviour

So what steps can you take to address difficult or negative behaviour in the workplace?

As we said above, it’s a good idea to try and understand some of the underlying issues that may lead to employees exhibiting challenging behaviours.

You can then find the right strategy to support you in dealing with that specific team member’s behaviour in the workplace.

Remember, a negative employee isn’t just a problem for you – their behaviour affects everyone who’s around it.

Using eLearning for employee training

If you’re eager to address the issue of challenging behaviour to your team, you may like to use eLearning as a way to thoughtfully introduce and raise the topic.

Using a short online course, such as Skillsoft’s Managing Difficult Behavior, is a great way to engage with staff on this issue. Start your free trial today to access this course and many more.

Have each individual team member watch and complete the interactive course – they will need to consider certain scenarios and select the best responses, as they move through the course.

There are plenty more courses on the Go1 platform that will help you better understand employee behaviour and give you the confidence you need to address any issues before they get out of hand.

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