How to Manage Unmanageable Employees

By dickburge5273 | Business Tips

Feb 24

Let’s face it. Managing employees, each one having different personalities, can be very challenging. How much more dealing with those individuals with difficult characters?

Apparently, handling unmanageable employees can be one of the worst nightmares of an entrepreneur. In fact, these people can make a negative impact to a team’s overall performance. And to some extent, they can cause disruption of business operations. It does seem quite impossible to handle them. But it can actually be done.

Here are three strategies you can do to ensure you are in control of the members of your team:

1. Set Clear Expectations

The moment you hire an employee, make sure you have laid out your expectations, as well as his role and responsibilities in the organization. Set standard policies that each employee is expected to follow. For example, you can have a “no cellphone policy” during working hours. Employees will be required to keep their devices on a specific area, which they can only use during breaks or after work. Policies like this must be put into writing so that it can be used as a point of reference for both you and your employee later on.

Avoid miscommunication by having lack of communication. Unfortunately, some employees become a burden because they don’t really know what to do. They are left astray and confused. You think you are on the same page. But sadly, you are not.

If you have established an open communication with your employees and set clear guidelines for them to follow, you are also empowering them to act more freely. Supervising is made easier. Thus, you get to do more things that are more important, than dealing with problem employees.

2. Check Employee Activities

As they say: “when the cat is away, the mouse will play”. Familiar scenario in for business owners, isn’t it? Well, it’s given that employees are supposed to do their jobs during working hours. However, there are times when these people tend to have their attention diverted from what they are expected to do.

The best way to catch employees slacking off is to have a CCTV installed in the store. In fact, aside for having this for security purposes, it also allows you to monitor your people even when you are not physically there. Thus, your employees become conscious of their actions, knowing that they can be caught doing something that is not work related.

Another thing you can do is to ask them to report to you from time to time. For example, if you are a retail business, you can ask your personnel to inform you of the sales for that certain period. You can do this through phone call or text message. In that way, they will be obliged to be more proactive to get more sales that they can report to you.

There are also available softwares or mobile applications that you can use to check on your employees, especially those on field work. A good example for this is Tarkie, an employee productivity tool that allows you to keep track of your employees – real time.  Having applications like Tarkie, enables business owners to see right through the performance of an employee. And the best thing is, employees perform their tasks better, knowing that they are being monitored all the time.

3. Address the Problem

Employees tend to behave in contrast to what is expected of them, due to personal or perhaps, professional dilemmas. Unfortunately, the troubling situation can create a ripple effect in the company. It can even be burden to business owners when the matter continues and gets worse. And in some instances, it leaves entrepreneurs no choice but to make an on spot decision by dismissing the toxic employee.

However, as the main guy, it is important that you know the root cause of the employees’ attitude before you take an inconsiderate action. Discuss with the employee his problems which resulted to his inappropriate behavior. Pay attention to what is really going on. That’s when you might realize that the problem lies not with the employee, but on other legitimate issue in the workplace.

Help the problem employee to be on track again. Let him realize that his action has been sending a bad impact to the organization. Thus, if he wants to remain in the team, he should display more acceptable behavior. Remember, the problem won’t resolve itself. And letting it pass wouldn’t make a situation any better.


Managing people is a tough job. And dealing with those unruly ones are the worse. If the strategies still don’t work for the “black sheep”, then maybe it’s already time to let go and find someone better.