When you spend a good portion of your work day with the same co-workers or employees, you want to have good relationships with them. Inevitably, problem employees do pop up, pulling stunts that include chronic lateness, laziness, rude behavior or any number of other interpersonal issues. If the problem keeps occurring and starts affecting your productivity or is having a negative effect on the business, it's time to talk to the boss. Before you do so though, do your homework.
You need to review a problem employee's job responsibilities and job description to get a clear picture of what's expected of that person. If the business has a checklist or manual of employee responsibilities, review it and make notes as to how the employee is falling short.
Evidence and Documentation
When you go to the boss, you want to have clear, documented evidence of how the employee is not performing his job. When you witness a possible infraction, write down the date, time and circumstances. Do this over several days or weeks, so you can gather a good amount of evidence. If the problem employee is directly affecting your productivity, makes notes of how this is occurring.
Ask for a private moment with the boss so you can set up a meeting to discuss the problem. If your boss has an assistant or secretary, remain discreet by asking for time to discuss employee relations, without mentioning specific employees by name. Do not share information about the meeting with other employees. As for letting a problem employee know that you're discussing him, ask the boss whether you need to do this, or whether the conversation will remain private.
During the Meeting
When you first sit down with your boss, begin by asking for help in solving an employee issue. Avoid implying that your boss was negligent in not recognizing the problem or has ignored the problem -- as that might backfire. Also refrain from getting overly emotional. Simply cite the facts you've gathered about the employee, while trying to tie the various infractions to productivity. At the end of the meeting, ask the boss whether there are any follow-up steps you should take to help solve the problem. Take your boss's lead as to what you should do next; you asked her for help -- and you have to give her time to remedy the situation.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.