It only takes for one employee not singing from the same hymn sheet as the rest of their colleagues to disrupt the general balance to the team, potentially having a terrible knock-on effect to the business. There are many reasons as to why a once model employee can transform into a rotten apple that requires action to be taken – and it could be your own doing.

Employees can become disgruntled for work-related reasons such as being overlooked for a promotion, feeling as though they are stagnating in their role or not receiving deserved recognition, as well as other monetary rationales. Such employees can feel ostracised in the workplace, which can result in a lack of communication and collaboration on their part with the rest of the team.

It can also cause other employees’ attitudes to change as they hear out the troublesome employee as they slowly turn them against the business, potentially causing talented members to look elsewhere. As a team leader, cannot afford to turn a blind eye and you must attempt to understand what has caused the negativity, and work to find a solution.

Understanding Their Viewpoint

There is always a reason as to why an employee becomes disgruntled, so it is your responsibility as their manager to find out what it is and why it is affecting their attitude in the workplace. Begin by having an informal chat with them away from the other members of the team – nothing official – just to ask if everything is okay with them. This might be all that they need having been waiting for someone to invite them to speak about any issues that might be the root of any disruptive behaviour and/or drop in productivity.

Should that not work, and their negativity continues, next is to adopt a more formal approach and arrange an employee review. Here, you can discuss their performance and productivity, highlighting anything that is not acceptable and directly addressing the situation. Ask the employee if there is anything that you, as a manager, or the business can do to help them. This then puts the ball in their court to divulge what the issue is and to work with you to come to a mutually beneficial solution.

Don’t Allow Them to Affect Team Morale

Whether or not you can turn around a troublesome employee, you simply cannot allow them to bring down the rest of the team along with them. The wellness of your team is paramount to the success of your business, so consider changing things up and involving everyone – including the employee in question – in team building events that are designed to breakdown any existing barriers.

This could be invaluable, especially if work has been reasonably stressful recently due to high demand, meaning that everyone will enjoy getting out of the workplace for an afternoon. While we all come to work to do just that, it’s also important to remember to have fun and, if everyone does enjoy the company of their colleagues, it makes for a far better and productive workplace.

If All Else Fails

If you have tried everything to turn things around and there is still no improvement or sign of things getting any better any time soon, you have the difficult job of taking action. Removing an employee is never fun and it certainly isn’t a part of the job that any manager enjoys, even if you might think otherwise.

Whatever action you take, make sure that it is carefully considered and you are comfortable with the decision that you come to.