Nightmare employees. We all know (or have heard about) them. The ones that turn up to work when they feel like it (if they feel like it), don’t perform, cause drama, even threaten or instil fear in the rest of the team.

So what can you do about them? Put up with it? Hide your head in the sand? Turn a blind eye because you actually like them as a person, or because they’ve been around for so long? Ultimately, procrastination will do you no favours. Although it’s not a nice part, getting rid of nightmare employees is a critical part of your role as a business owner.

Here we offer some advice to get started …

First and foremost, remember that it is never too late to take action. Regardless of how long the employee has been around or causing issues there is always something you can do about it.

  1. Start by having an honest conversation with the individual. Be as specific and descriptive as possible regarding exactly what the issue is and why it’s problematic. Keep an ongoing record documenting any indiscretions and the impact they had, particularly if it isn’t immediately obvious.
  2. Clearly explain to them what your expectations are and why
  3. Offer help
  4. Let them know that a failure to improve behaviour could lead to you proceeding with formal action under a disciplinary process

So often we see clients skip this initial conversation, or do everything they can to try and put it off – but it really is the most important part.  Even if you have been ignoring the conversation for many years, just addressing it and letting someone know there is a problem can often cause a dramatic change in behaviour.

If however this conversation does not bring about the required changes in behaviour, your next step might be to consider a formal disciplinary process. It’s always best to seek advice at this point, but here are a few key things to remember:

  1. There is a required legal process to follow when issuing a member of staff with a formal warning or dismissing them.  You can’t simply hand out ‘warnings’ without following the correct process.
  2. If you fail to follow the process, the employee would likely have a strong case to take to employment tribunal.
  3. Having a disciplinary policy in place, and ensuring staff know it is in place and what it looks like is really important
  4. Don’t procrastinate – move on any formal process whilst momentum is in place
  5. Equally don’t go in all guns blazing or make any rash decisions

The hiring & firing process is a tricky one and an ongoing learning process. If you have been unfortunate enough to encounter a situation where an individual wasn’t the right fit for your business, try to use it as a useful lesson – but don’t make the same mistake again.  Being in this position can be a useful reminder on the importance of a good recruitment process and trying to get it right before it goes wrong!

Finally remember if you do find yourself in a situation such as this, we’ve got your back!

Get in touch

We love working with a variety of businesses and business owners – whether new on your business journey or well established. Call our friendly team on 01243 717693 to get started or message us via the website