UHY Hacker Young | Chartered Accountants

How to cope with difficult employees

5 May 2016

Managing a variety of personalities at work is never easy. People decide emotionally and then they justify logically. If the people who work for you feel that they are irreplaceable, they will behave in a way that is consistent with this belief.


You and your staff were gathered in the car park after being evacuated from your burning building. You were then told that there was a building available across the road, fully serviced, you could be back up and running by the end of the day. All that is left is to re-hire back your employees.

Who would you hire back and take with you?

At UHY Birmingham we refer to the accountancy term Zero Based Thinking.

We look at expenditure, every cost, and absolutely every area of your business outgoings. Then we ask you the question… knowing what we now know, if you had the chance to start over again would you get involved with this company or that employee second time around?

If the answer is YES then that is great.  There is always room for improvement but you are prepared to make it work.

However if the answer is no then you must have the courage to address why this is. When you change your situation and remove the stress, the only question that you`ll ask is “Why didn’t I do it sooner?”

Coping with difficult employees

Often people who find it difficult to get along with others lack self-esteem.  They may take offence easily and be quick to snap when their behaviour is in question.

Your job is to stay calm and remember that you want to see an improvement in attitude or performance.  Usually by maintaining a calm composure, you can defuse the conflict.

Ultimately, however, you must remember that your effort to make your business a success cannot be jeopardised by one employee. If your business fails you will be left picking up the pieces and your difficult employee will be the first to start looking for another job.

With clear business goals you can stand back and ask yourself if the difficult staff are helping or hurting your business success.

We regularly support our clients to review their business outgoings and develop strategies to resolve identified issues.  For further information or advice about how we can help, please contact Ife Thomas, complete our online contact form or contact our office directly.