The ideal culture in the workplace is one where employees are punctual, supportive to their colleagues, open to changes and collaborative. This kind of workplace culture, however, isn’t always possible.
If you’re a manager or a team leader, you may encounter one or two rude or disrespectful employees on your team. These workers, for instance, talk badly behind your back, bully their colleagues and even refuse to follow your orders.
Before you blow your top at these people, you can take steps to manage a disrespectful employee.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Document Inappropriate Behaviors
Some rude employees don’t accept their mistakes and attempt to blame their colleagues for their inappropriate behavior. As a leader, document examples of their hostile behavior with employees, customers on different occasions.
Here’s an example: let’s say your team uses Salesforce Chatter as your primary team collaboration tool. If you’ve heard from people that one of your team members is disrespecting others in the online platform, you can document that by using a reliable Salesforce archiving tool.
Once you’ve collected written documentation of recent and specific incidents, present that to the disrespectful employee during an administrative hearing.
2. Provide Clear, Behavioral Feedback
Some team managers spend months or even years complaining about how bad their directs reports are. They, however, fail to give them feedback about how they’re doing and what they need to be doing differently.
Giving tough feedback can be hard and uncomfortable for team leaders. Great managers, however, learn to do this reasonably well. So, make sure that you are giving clear, regular performance and behavioral feedback to your direct reports.
3. Keep a Positive Attitude
As tough as this may sound, you should avoid lowering yourself to the rude employee’s level. Even if your direct report is hurling negative comments, insults and swear words right in front of your face, you should keep your temper in check and be professional at all times.
Rather than publicly chastising your direct report, wait until the event is complete. Then, schedule a private meeting with the offending employee in your office.
Initially, try asking the worker to express any issues or concerns and give the opportunity to repair any problems you can. Employees may feel more positive when they think they matter to the team or even to the organization as a whole.
If this approach doesn’t work, you may need to start documenting behaviors in preparation for eventual disciplinary action.
4. Manage Your Self-Talk
When managing disrespectful employees, make sure that your self-talk is neither unhelpfully negative nor unhelpfully positive. Thinking to yourself, “My employee is an idiot and will stay that way for the rest of their life,” isn’t useful. What’s also not right is thinking, “Everything will be fine. My employee is awesome. There’s no problem here.”
Great team leaders take a fair witness stance. They make sure that the words they say to themselves about the situation are accurate. Take this statement as an example: “The behavior of my direct report is producing headaches for the entire team. I will do my best to support this employee to change.”
5. Avoid Micromanaging Your Employees
Being a successful team leader means bringing on board the right people and trusting them to do the work the company hired them to do.
If you micromanage your direct reports, you may notice that they start to resent your interference. This may result in an employee rebelling against the oversight.
So, refrain from doing any form of micromanaging. Follow transformational leadership principles to create motivated and empowered workers who know their place in the company. Also, call occasional meetings that encourage employees to share what they are doing, as well as to detail their everyday activities.
6. Establish Consequences If Things Don’t Change
You have to draw the line at some point. If the situation isn’t improving with your problem employee, let them know about the possible consequences of their actions and behavior.
One example statement you can say is, “I have faith that you can turn this around. Here’s how turning it around looks like. If I don’t see this behavior by this date, here’s what will happen to you.” A few of the consequences include getting fired, becoming ineligible for a promotion or a raise and getting transferred to another team.
When you set the consequences, you’re telling your employees that you mean business. What’s more, you’re making them believe that their behavior and actions will ruin their career. This will compel them to change.
The difference between recruitment and selection may be short. But if a speeding hiring process yields less than desirable employees, management must have a plan. Take note of these six “good manager” approaches when you have a bad apple on your team. If you’ve given enough warnings and the employee is still disrespectful, you have the right to fire that worker to preserve the integrity of the workplace.