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Four ways to deal with difficult coworkers

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HC Online | 03 Sep 2014, 11:39 AM Agree 0
What can HR do to manage that one worker who seems bent on causing problems?
  • Bernie Althofer | 03 Sep 2014, 01:14 PM Agree 0
    Over the years, one of the issues that has come in relation to workplace bullying and the difficult worker/manager is the lack of use of organisational systems and processes to address behaviour. In addition, the other aspect that goes hand in hand with that is the lack of coaching provided across the board for managers and workers alike (irrespective of whether or not they are in HR or somewhere else).

    The four key points identified in the article are important. It is also important that individuals be provided with the knowledge and skills required to enact those points without their action resulting in adverse conflict.

    In addition, I would suggest that a key solution in solutions is actually getting the difficult person to change e.g. provide them with coaching, change the hazards or contributing factors, address the environmental issues. Unfortunately, in my experience some of the difficult workers end up believing that because no-one spoke to them about their behaviour or conduct, what they were doing was appropriate. Sometimes the behaviour has to be called for what it is.

    Given the amount of discussion regarding 'involvement' and 'the unwilling bystander', there is an increased possibility even making a decision to 'fly under the radar' or to 'keep your head down' is going to result in attention i.e. the investigator who identifies you and your action.

    That said, decisions to address the difficult person and their behaviour is never easy, and for some workers, the safest option in the short term is to keep their head down, look for alternative employment and try and avoid being a target, for they know who the person is connected to, and the 'payback' of reporting their behaviour.
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