3 Simple Things to do When You’re Really Struggling with an Employee

Sometimes you will find yourself in a really uncomfortable and frustrating position with an employee. You may feel like you’re at your wit’s end! You may feel frustrated, angry, confused, and at a total loss as to what will help you get back to that great place you used to be in with your employee(s). Imagine how the employee(s) feel. They probably feel even worse than you do. Even if you think things are ok with you and your teammates, please read this article; I spent a lot of time writing this for you. It’s important. Your employees deserve this. Things can always be better in your business! These 3 Simple Things to do When You’re Really Struggling with an Employee are applicable to every single leader, in every single company, in every single industry. I promise they will improve your business if you apply them. 

So, you’re not getting through to an employee. This kind of situation sucks. I know because I have been there. There is nothing better than flowing, vibing and producing with your team, and creating the most amazing products and services for your clients! There’s no better feeling than the happiest clients telling you and your team that you’ve (as a team) changed their life. Conversely, there is nothing worse than going into work and not having that great feeling with your team members. Being at odds with a team member is one of the worst problems to have in your business. You need to be on the same team, working together, working towards that common vision, and following the same “rules” or culture statements. 

And no, you can’t just fire them. Why? Because you’re not that lazy. Because you are a real leader. Because you are better than that, and because they deserve your best leadership efforts. If you have not done absolutely everything possible to help them succeed, how can you possibly even consider letting them go? You are not going to fire your employee — you are going to implement these three important concepts and have a great, productive, long and happy relationship with your team member(s). 

How do I know that? Because you’re here! You’re reading this! You’re the top two per cent, and I will remind you of this every week if I have to: You are not normal or average, you are  EXCEPTIONAL. You work on yourself, you read these emails, you read books, you take courses, and you try to be the best leader you can be! Your staff are really lucky to have you, even if they don’t tell you that or even realize it sometimes. You may not feel like it right now, but I am going to help you solve this. You can do it. You can have that great relationship back. You are a great leader and you can do this. 

You may feel like you’ve tried everything. But that’s never true — if you had really tried everything, you would have solved it by now. I have dealt with this situation many times, with so many different clients. It’s a very common problem. People are all so different, and we all have such different experiences, views, paradigms, and filters, that it’s truly wondrous we ever get along perfectly! So do not feel bad. This is a common problem, and one that we are going to solve, today. Right now. Read on, my friend. 

Leading a team of employees can be a very challenging thing regardless of the size, but it can also be one of the greatest honours and privileges of your life. I know it is absolutely the greatest honour and privilege of my life to lead people, help them grow, grow myself because of them, and work together with them to make a positive difference for so many people (our clients, the kids we help, etc.). It’s the best feeling to change the world for the better as a team! So please do not give up! Please read on! Please continue to learn! And please implement these teachings! Then you can enjoy better relationships and results with your awesome team members, and sleep easy knowing you’ve done your best, and your team feels happy too. 

Here are 3 Simple Things to do When You’re Really Struggling with an Employee

  1. Clear Roles and Goals: Do they have clear job descriptions that they understand? You need to make sure to go over their duties not just once but repeatedly, whenever it’s unclear! They also need very clear, measurable, and important goals. Having clear roles and goals is very important for each employee. If they don’t understand their role, and their goals, how can they possibly be a great employee for you? Having 1-3 goals that are clear, well-explained, and measured each month are so powerful for you and your team members. They need to know what the goals are, and every month how they did (their actual results.) People CRAVE feedback! They love a “report card” each month. They love to know that they have clear and measurable goals that they are achieving, or at least striving to achieve. Don’t deprive them of this!
  2. Culture Statements: These are not something you write by yourself with no team involvement and put in an employee manual on a dusty shelf where they never get reviewed again! Culture statements are rules for the way you and your team act at work. First of all, make sure your team has the opportunity to give feedback or contribute to the culture statements so that they are part of the process, and therefore are more bought in. Second, post these everywhere! Put them in the manuals! Review them at your meetings! Use them to coach people! This set of 5-10 statements is one of your most powerful coaching tools! The whole team, including you, needs to follow these at all times!
  3. Ask yourself, am I being the best leader I could possibly be for this person? Have you done everything possible to help this employee succeed? If the answer is no, and the answer is almost ALWAYS no, then get to work on the area where you could be better! Hint: It’s probably clearer roles and goals, clarification and enforcement of culture statements, or supporting them in overcoming barriers and limiting beliefs. 

I’m so excited for you to go and make your employee relationships and performance better! I know you can do this! Just remember my 3 Simple Things to do When You’re Really Struggling with an Employee: 1) Clear roles and goals, 2) Enforce those culture statements, and 3) Be the best possible leader you can be! Your employees deserve this! Go give it to them!

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Kelli-Rae Tamaki

Kelli-Rae is truly passionate about successful business, and believes it can always be better, which is why she has spent 20 years studying, running, coaching and consulting with businesses, just like yours.