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How to Handle Difficult Employee Conversations
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How to Handle Difficult Employee Conversations

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Luckily for most of us, our work teams feel a lot like a family. You work together, laugh together, problem solve together and likely even butt heads with each other at one point or another. But when the going gets tough and you realize that you need to have a serious one-on-one conversation with an employee, how are you supposed to handle it?


Don’t run, don’t hide and take a deep breath knowing that you aren’t the first business owner or project manager having to deal with a difficult discussion. In most cases, an uncomfortable exchange now leads to more success down the road + if you’re feeling like something is up for an open chat, it’s likely that the other person does too.

Here are 3 difficult conversations that you may be faced with and how we would handle them.

They’re Not a Good Fit for the Company

Sometimes an employee isn’t a right fit for your company — whether it’s because they don’t align with your core values, company culture or for any other reason in the book. The best thing to remember is that if you know something isn’t working for your company and you’ve given them the opportunity to improve, it’s your job to nip it in the bud to create a better, more successful business down-the-road.


This article on Business News Daily is a great resource for letting go of an employee but we’ll leave you with these two stepping stones: Keep it short and keep it factual.


They’re Not Performing Up to Par

If someone at your company isn’t performing up to par it’s up to you to investigate and see how the situation can be rectified. Often times, the person may not realize that a task was specifically theirs, that they weren’t doing something up-to-snuff or that there was any problem at all.


Go into this conversation with a positive demeanor and ask them questions —


How is everything going here?

I have a goal I’d like to discuss with you…

How do you think we can reach X goal to meet Y?


Your employee should never feel attacked or like they have to be on the defense, instead they should feel responsible and excited for meeting goals you set forth.


Two Employees Are Not Getting Along

We see this one come up in both online and in-person team settings, so it’s definitely worth mentioning today. If two employees aren’t getting along or have a disagreement that’s causing tension among the team, schedule a meeting with the both of them separately so each individual has a chance to voice their points.


Then, bring everyone together and clearly state the intent of the meeting (solving X communication issue that’s been going on). Ask both parties what might make the situation go smoother, how reasonable requests can be implemented and most importantly, follow-up later to insure things are going as smooth as possible.


Wondering how you can develop your dream team to minimize difficult conversations? Give this article a read.



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