According to the Small Business Administration, difficult employees can upset other co-workers and may eventually lead to an explosive situation within your company. If you are the manager or owner, it is your responsibility to deal with an argumentative employee before she affects productivity or the loss of customers. You need to know when and how to confront the employee to keep your department running smoothly and prevent conflict with others.
Evaluate the problem when it arises. If the issue is with you, listen to why your employee is being argumentative. Make sure that she is not feeling unappreciated or has problems with company policy or other workers. If the problem is with a co-worker, speak with both parties to find out what happened.
Plan your approach. Meet with the employee one-on-one instead of confronting her in front of others.
Get straight to the point and explain to the employee that her behavior is hurting the team. Explain that she should work harder on trying to achieve the company's goals. Help her work through any issues she may have with another worker.
Don't overreact to the situation. Remain calm at all times even if the employee begins to raise her voice. Speak clearly and calmly to get your point across.
Create a plan of action to remedy her argumentative behavior. Follow through with disciplinary procedures if things to do not change.
Monitor the employee to see if she has made any changes in her behavior. Schedule additional meetings over a reasonable time to follow up.
Provide feedback to the employee who is trying to control her negative behavior. Praise her for working towards a solution.
- Seek professional help for severe problems including bullying, stealing or other issues. Confront the issue as soon as possible to prevent loss of customers and productivity.
Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.