Stubborn employees bring down your company’s morale and production levels. However, those employees may also provide expertise you may have difficulty finding elsewhere. Follow these guidelines for determining when it’s time to let go of a stubborn employee.
They Never Accept Blame
A stubborn employee rarely owns up to their part in projects not being completed. The employee typically shifts the blame to a co-worker or manager, uses guilt to get colleagues to accept responsibility for the employee’s shortcomings or cites an excuse about not having enough time, help or other resource to fulfill the employee’s responsibilities.
They Give up Quickly
A problem employee gives up quickly when trying new things that don’t work out. Rather than asking questions, seeking help or requesting more training, the employee believes they cannot complete their tasks and stops putting in any effort. You lose out on new ideas and methods for moving your company forward, causing your entire organization to suffer.
You Try Various Methods to Get Through to Them
You may try different methods to get through to a stubborn employee but receive unsuccessful results. Perhaps you acknowledge the employee’s unproductive attitude and point out that when you ask them to do something, you need to rely on them to complete the task. You may also give the employee both verbal and written instructions, ask the employee to explain what you’d like accomplished and encourage them to ask questions and offer suggestions for completing their work. Even though you do all you can to show you listen to the employee, consider their ideas and work with them to resolve issues as they arise, you may not see the results you desire.
Provide Coaching Before Evaluating Termination
Provide coaching for your stubborn employee before deciding whether to let to them go. Internal employees, mentors or external trainers should try helping the employee change their attitude and behavior. Ensure the coaching is done with a positive attitude in a private location. The coach should explain in neutral terms what specific behaviors the employee needs to work on and encourage the employee to agree that a problem exists. The coach should also encourage the employee to discuss possible reasons for the behavior and help find ways to resolve the issue. Eventually, the employee should own the problem and agree to being held accountable for implementing solutions. If the employee doesn’t show improvement in a set amount of time, consider letting them go.
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