Addressing stroppy or difficult Employees

Addressing stroppy or difficult Employees

It’s the time of year we all make resolutions on how we are going to do things differently.  This is not always on a personal level, but also how we are going tackle workplace situations and/or difficult employees.

I sometimes hear from clients who want to know what to do with employees who are stroppy, unhelpful, unapproachable or generally unpleasant towards other employees, some are even rude or abrupt to customers.  When I ask more about it, (to establish if this is a recent change in their behaviour and what may have triggered it) clients often tell me ‘they have always been like that’ or ‘it’s just the way they are’.

In an ideal world, as soon as negative or difficult behaviour is noticed, it should be addressed and nipped in the bud.

People will often continue to behave in the way that they do as nobody has told them that their behaviour at work is unacceptable. Some even say ‘that’s just the way I am’ and think this ok…’s not ok and should be addressed.

Even in cases where the person’s behaviour has not been tackled before, it is not too late to start addressing this effectively, firstly through a quiet word or an informal meeting, where there has been no improvement it should be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure.

It is good practice to have a code of conduct or a handbook which covers the Company’s expectations of working with others and client care, this is something you can refer to when addressing such matters.

Negative behaviour is not only unacceptable; it often affects morale of the rest of the workforce which can lead to resignations, grievances being raised, not to mention complaints from customers.  Some cases have resulted in me either attending a facilitated meeting, mediation between the two parties or even a Settlement Agreement.

So make your new year’s resolution to address any poor attitude / unacceptable behaviour and help make a happy new year for everyone.

If you need guidance or advice with your HR requirements, please call Practical HR on 01702 216573 or email Angie on