Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, as do their departments. As companies scale and staff count continue to increase, however, challenges can arise when managing multiple personalities under one roof. A common issue that managers’ face in their departments as they grow are negative attitudes that can surface from time to time with certain employees.
Dealing with an emotional staff member effectively can be a challenge for even the most seasoned managers. However, addressing excessive drama in the workplace as it arises is a vital part of maintaining a positive and productive working environment.
Here are four tips for dealing with a dramatic employee quickly and effectively:
Quarantine the Problem
The main priority when dealing with negative emotions from staff members is to quarantine the problem. Regardless of the size of your organization, employee frustrations that are constantly being vented can be toxic to team morale. If you recognize a pattern of emotional outbursts or unproductive behaviors, it’s important to recognize where the issues originate and quickly deal with any employees involved.
Get to the Root of the Issue
When an employee regularly injects drama into the workplace, there are typically underlying issues that need to be uncovered. While constantly venting frustrations may help the individual employee manage their own stress, it can add anxiety to others around them who wouldn’t have otherwise had any. Getting to the root of any issues that an employee has and discussing them openly in private settings will help the staff member feel like their problems are being heard and minimize their need to vocalize them to others.
Balance Empathy with Accountability
Listening to an employee’s issues and helping them to deal with them shouldn’t eliminate the need to keep them accountable. Sometimes, employees may use their frustrated state as an excuse to stay unproductive and unprofessional. There is a danger of being overly empathetic, and managers should remember that regardless of an employee’s personal feelings about issues at work, the business still needs a motivated and active workforce.
Provide Regular Coaching
Many times, minimizing workplace drama is as simple as keeping employees focused on developing their skills and career path. Coaching and mentoring can be a great way to break the bad habits of overly emotional staff members and help them redirect their passion towards personal development and building a better company culture. Staying vigilant to the needs of your staff members and working closely with them through regular training and formalized mentorship programs can help establish a positive working atmosphere for everyone.
Managing a dramatic employee can be a sensitive issue and should always be approached as such. However, by quickly addressing toxic attitudes as they arise and balancing empathy with the accountability of your employees, you’ll help to create a more productive working environment that’s conducive to great business results.