HR Policies Alert: How to Help an Abrasive Person

HR Policies Alert: How to Help an Abrasive Person

The Situation
You have an employee who is a dynamic thinker, a powerful strategist, a skilled technician and someone who knows how to deliver the goods. The same employee is also driving everyone crazy with their abusive and abrasive behavior and comments. And, you have to decide whether or not the benefit of the contributions outweigh the costs of investigations, staff turnover, potential liability, your reputation as a leader and the reputation of your company.

HR Policies: Yes You Have Conflict…Now What?

If you want to keep your employee, then:

  • Don’t ignore the situation and hope everything disappears
  • Don’t yell at them and threaten them and demand they behave (this doesn’t work)
  • Don’t send a letter from your lawyers threatening termination (this doesn’t work either)
  • Don’t conduct an investigation and decide that the person is not misbehaving (that makes everyone else angry and then you face the costs of losing your next level of best and brightest)

Do hire a Conflict Consultant who understands what is driving the person to misbehave and who can help the person learn new styles of communicating (if you pick this choice be sure to hire someone with experience and a proven track record)

HR Policies Sometimes Need Outside Help

I know how employers think about these conflicts and I know what can be done to reduce or eliminate the conflict. If you are faced with the challenges of having a difficult employee who is costing you far more than he or she should, then ask for help.