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How To Handle A Star Employee With A Bad Attitude

Six successful CEOs share their strategies for managing employees with bad attitudes.

1. Don’t excuse it

“This question is interesting and the way it is phrased speaks volumes about our perception of productivity. Even though their performance is exceptional, we often excuse poor behavior from employees. This type of employee would be approached with the genuine desire to understand their behavior. If it doesn’t improve, I would fire them.

– Stephanie Nadi Olson founder of We Are Rosie

2. Find the root cause of the problem

“Identify the root cause of the attitude. This could be a result of a negative attitude from their manager. Employees may feel uncomfortable or unsure how to deal with these situations. This can lead to unhappiness that can manifest as negative behavior. It is crucial to take advantage of every opportunity to improve our business operations. These conversations can help us see areas of improvement that we might otherwise overlook.

– Johanna Zlenko is the CEO of The Closet Trading Co.

3. It can be replaced

“Fire them. We did initially tolerate productive employees with negative attitudes. This was partly because it was necessary for the company’s growth and partly because we felt that our employees were doing us a favor in working for us. We now have a zero tolerance policy. A negative attitude can make it more difficult to produce productivity than non-productivity. Negativity can have an immeasurable impact on productivity and can last a lifetime.

– Jason Griffin Reidel is the Co-Founder and CEO at Gorjana

4. Offer support

“Have an performance-related conversation. First, report the problem with the employee’s behavior and how it affects the business. Next, set out the company’s expectations. Next, express your confidence in their abilities and talents by commenting on the expectations you have for them as their manager. Follow up with the consequences, and then create a plan. It is not enough to tell people how to solve a problem. They may also need your support. Tell them that you are here to help.

– Daina Trout is the CEO and Co-Founder of Health-Ade

5. Take it one step further

Ask the person what they think about their job. Open-ended questions such as “If you could change one aspect of this company, what would that be?” Or, if you had the power to restructure your workday how would that help? You might find out that the individual is experiencing personal or communication problems with coworkers, or concerns about the company’s direction. No matter what the answer is, listen. To continue the conversation, turn off your computer and put away the phone. This will help you to understand the next steps.

– Steven Gutentag is the co-founder of Thirty Madison

6. It is best to avoid it

“We have a program that helps us manage our egos, communication, and professional relationships in the same way we train hairdressers to become more productive. Our teams are required to practice positive and direct communication both in person and on a regular basis. This helps us manage change in attitude and behavior. You can point out inappropriate behavior in your team members by being respectful and direct. If the person is interested in staying with the company, they will be open to meeting you on common ground. If not, it’s over. We have quickly recovered from the loss of top performers, some of which are responsible for 20% income. Avoid negotiating with terrorists.

– Jon Reyman CEO of Spoke & Weal

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