Virtual/Instructor-led training

Managing Difficult Employees


Dealing with difficult employees is one of the most challenging aspects of managing a team. These employees can cause disruptions, decrease productivity, and lead to high turnover rates.

In this presentation, we will explore strategies for effectively managing difficult employees, to help maintain a positive and productive work environment.

  • Identify common behaviors and traits exhibited by difficult employees, and recognize the impact of difficult employee behavior on the team and organization.
  • Develop communication skills for addressing difficult employee behavior, and explore conflict resolution techniques specific to managing difficult employees.
  • Learn strategies for coaching, mentoring, and setting expectations with difficult employees, and develop skills to improve the performance and behavior of challenging team members.
  • Understand the role of leadership in fostering a supportive work environment, and acquire strategies for preventing and managing difficult behavior through a positive workplace culture
Module 1: Understanding Difficult Employee Behaviors
  • Defining Difficult Employee Behaviors: Common Types and Traits.
  • The Impact of Difficult Employee Behavior on Teams and Organizations.
  • Recognizing Early Signs of Difficult Behavior.
Module 2: Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • The Role of Communication in Managing Difficult Employees.
  • Active Listening and Constructive Communication Techniques.
  • Conflict Resolution Approaches Specific to Difficult Employees.
Module 3: Performance Improvement Strategies
  • Coaching and Mentoring Difficult Employees: Techniques and Best Practices.
  • Setting Expectations and Goals for Behavior Improvement.
  • Monitoring and Measuring the Progress of Difficult Employees.
Module 4: Creating a Supportive Work Environment
  • Leadership’s Role in Fostering a Positive Workplace Culture.
  • Strategies for Preventing Difficult Behavior through Culture and Team Dynamics.
  • Building a Supportive and Inclusive Work Environment.
included in 90-min, Half Day & Full Day sessions
  • Difficult Employee Behavior Analysis: Participants analyze scenarios depicting difficult employee behaviors, identify the behaviors and their impact, and discuss potential strategies for addressing them.
  • Role-Play for Difficult Conversations: Participants engage in role-play exercises, taking on the roles of both managers and difficult employees to practice communication, active listening, and conflict resolution techniques.
  • Performance Improvement Coaching: Participants pair up to practice coaching and mentoring techniques, addressing performance and behavior issues. They receive feedback from peers to refine their coaching skills.
  • Building a Supportive Team Environment: Participants engage in discussions and workshops to brainstorm and share ideas on preventing difficult behavior through team dynamics and culture. They collaboratively create action plans for fostering a positive and inclusive work environment.

(included in Half-Day sessions)

  • Performance Improvement Plans – Participants will learn about performance improvement plans (PIPs) and how to use them to help manage difficult employees.
  • The GROW Model – Participants will be introduced to the GROW model (Goal, Reality, Options, and Will) and learn how to apply it to managing difficult employees.
  • The FISH! Philosophy – Participants will learn about the FISH! philosophy and how to apply its principles to managing difficult employees.

This session employs an interactive and skill-focused approach to equip participants with practical strategies for managing difficult employees effectively. The methodology includes:

  • Case Studies and Scenarios:
    • Presenting real-world case studies and scenarios illustrating various difficult employee behaviors and situations.
    • Encouraging participants to analyze and identify patterns and potential solutions within these scenarios.
  • Role-Playing and Simulations:
    • Engaging participants in role-play exercises to simulate conversations and interactions with difficult employees.
    • Providing opportunities for participants to practice communication, active listening, conflict resolution, and coaching skills.
  • Group Discussions and Peer Learning:
    • Facilitating group discussions where participants can share their experiences, challenges, and insights related to managing difficult employees.
    • Encouraging peer learning and the exchange of best practices for handling difficult employee situations.
  • Practical Exercises on Communication and Coaching:
    • Conducting interactive exercises on effective communication techniques, including feedback and assertiveness.
    • Providing guidance on coaching and mentoring strategies to address performance and behavior issues.
  • Feedback and Reflection:
    • Offering structured feedback sessions after role-play exercises and workshops to enhance participants’ skills.
    • Encouraging self-reflection on their ability to manage difficult employees and areas for improvement.
  • Collaborative Problem-Solving:
    • Engaging participants in collaborative problem-solving activities related to managing difficult employees.
    • Promoting teamwork and creative solutions to challenging employee behavior scenarios.

(included in Full Day sessions)

  • Training Materials:
    • Comprehensive presentation slides covering key concepts, case studies, and strategies discussed during the session.
    • Handouts summarizing essential points, communication guidelines, and coaching techniques.
  • Difficult Employee Scenarios:
    • A collection of realistic workplace scenarios depicting difficult employee behaviors for analysis and discussion.
    • Worksheets to guide participants in identifying the behaviors, their impact, and potential solutions.
  • Role-Play Guidelines:
    • Detailed instructions and guidelines for conducting role-play exercises related to difficult employee interactions.
    • Role-play scenarios representing common difficult employee situations for practice.
  • Communication Tools:
    • Templates and tools for effective communication, active listening, empathetic responses, and providing constructive feedback.
    • Tips for assertive communication to address difficult employee behaviors.
  • Coaching and Mentoring Resources:
    • Resources on coaching and mentoring techniques, including setting expectations, goal planning, and tracking progress.
    • Coaching templates and checklists to guide performance improvement discussions.