How To Handle Harsh Employees
Yes, every employee is generally quite friendly and well-mannered (right?). However, there will inevitably be some personalities that emerge that use harsher, less pleasant language. How do you deal with these employees?
Monitor their communication style
Yes, we have all had an office know-it-all, but how long until their comments become bullying? Monitor employees who seem to criticize or even insult (seemingly without meaning harm) often. Take them aside and discuss this with them. This may negatively impact their work with other employees. They must tone it down or keep it to themselves and show they are a supportive team player.
Ask for employee feedback
If it’s a bad situation, you will need to address the employee’s behavior with other employees. If you just have a feeling, just ask a general question. How are you doing with the current team dynamic? Do you find it easy or difficult to work with your co-workers? How do you think we can improve?
Watch for this in interviews
How can you really catch a negative Nancy in an interview when most people try to be on their best behavior? Situational questions can help. Ask them how they would deal with a co-worker they have observed to be struggling or even being difficult.
Give them a warning and keep communication open
Sometimes this behavior is born from a temporary difficult time in the person’s life, in-office tension you’re unaware of, or simple miscommunication. Maybe they are unhappy with your management style and they’re turning to criticism and negativity instead of being honest with you. Make sure it’s clear that you want to communicate any issues going on, and they are free to come to you with any problems.