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150 Lower Westfield Road
Holyoke, MA 01040

Newsletter

1Feb. 2018

How To Navigate a Difficult Employee

As a business owner, you are going to come across a variety of people in your lifetime.  Whether you are dealing with clients or potential hires, there will always be that one person who is just difficult to deal with.  With clients, we put our best smile on to provide great customer service, however when it comes to difficult employees, it may be harder to do so.  Luckily, we have some tips to share in order to help you deal with a difficult employee.


  • Never lose your patience.  We know people can be difficult, and it can be hard to deal with certain personality types. It is important to remember to keep your cool because if you fly off the handle, it will create a defensive attitude and next thing you know, everyone is flying off the handle.

  • Avoid arguing with a difficult employee.  You are the boss/owner.  You set the tone.  If there is a difference in opinion on something and as an owner you feel is does need to be discussed then talk about it.  Arguing doesn't solve anything.

  • Avoid arguing with a difficult in employee in public.  This may be embarrassing for both you and them.  Always speak behind closed doors about issues.

  • Validate other staff.  If other employees are having issues with a difficult employee, listen to what they have to say.  Chances are they aren't making it up.  As an owner, it is impossible to see and hear everything.  Use these moments to understand what is happening when you aren't around.

  • Set clear guidelines.  If you lead your employees by example and they know what is expected of them, they will also know what the consequence is for not meeting that expectation.  Having a manual or rule book for you employees ensures that everyone knows what the rules are.  Don't be afraid to change your manual from time to time.  Just like you freshen up other things in your life, sometimes you have to freshen up the employee manual to change and meet the needs of where you are as a company now.

  • Never fire a difficult employee just because they are difficult.  They may end up coming back with a wrongful termination lawsuit.

  • Find the good in the difficult.  Everyone has something to contribute. Find what your difficult employee excels at and encourage it.


Dealing with a difficult employee is never easy and could often lead to a lawsuit if not handled the proper way.  This is exactly why your company needs business insurance.  Massachusetts business owners should have coverage that will take care of any legal issues the their company could face.  Looking into employment practices liability is crucial.  This policy will provide coverage for: discrimination, wrongful death, termination of employment, sexual harassment and other employment-related allegations.

If you have questions regarding this kind of business insurance please call us at Ross Insurance Agency, 413-536-8380~

Don't let the difficult get the best of you!

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