How to Handle Problematic Employees


If truth be told, even the most well-behaved employee in your company misbehaves sometimes. Well, nobody is perfect, as what they say. Misbehavior is part of being a human. However, the level of misbehavior should be within an acceptable limit.

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Nevertheless, it cannot be helped. There are certain instances instances when the behavior of your employee goes out of control and you are forced to draft a warning letter to allow the employee to provide an explanation behind his misconduct.

Common Issues Faced by Employees at Workplaces

Two of the duties and responsibilities of an employee is to observe proper behavior in the workplace and meet the performance standards. However, there are certain issues that can affect the level of performance of some employees, as well as their behavior. If you are a human resource manager, it is extremely important to know, evaluate, and understand the factors behind such inappropriate behavior incidents.

Oftentimes, these employees require a good talk. Although this is often not any easy conversation between the HR manager and the employee, it is the best solution to set the employee back on the right track. If you ever find yourself in this situation, ask yourself: should you tolerate such behavior or should you make a difficult choice of letting go of the said employee?

In this section, we will get to know the common employee issues that can affect their behavior and performance:


When an employee has a spotty attendance, the reason behind this issue can range from having a difficult personal problem or is undergoing a life-transitioning experience. Technically, when employees are always late, it will be hard for them to meet their daily quotas. Habitually tardy employees can also have a negative effect on the whole team. Moreover, business experts believe that tardiness can cause a ripple effect on the rest of the team.


Employee absenteeism can be a major problem in many companies. It does not only have a negative effect on the productivity but also on the business’ finances. Your company can potentially lose major clients because you cannot meet expected deadlines and deliveries.


It is believed that it is one of the main causes why employees are having a hard time reaching their target goals or quotas. Additionally, stress can change the employee’s behavior and increase the risk of mistakes and decrease in performance. If not addressed, it is the company that can drastically face difficulty in meeting its daily production and poor customer service.

Low Motivation

How well the company motivates its employees can make or break its potential growth and success. The lack of enthusiasm and interest for work can have disastrous effects on the entire organization.

Tips on Dealing with Problematic Employees

1. Evaluate

Before making any drastic move to terminate the employee from his or her current position in the company, a good manager will take some time to evaluate and check the current situation to ensure that you have a clear overview of the problem. Look for contributory factors that caused such behavior or problems.

2. Observe

Although it can be tempting to respond immediately to the problem, it is important to remember that employee retention is important before you make any drastic decision. Make sure to talk to his or her team and gather information before making any decision. As a manager, you should understand that everyone can have a bad day or week.

3. Talk

Once you are confident that you have collected all the facts, make sure to hold a good one-on-one talk with the employee. Although many managers find confrontation an awkward situation, it is a crucial part of your job and you have to make sure that you are able to address the problem with a level of professionalism. Moreover, listen attentively to the employee because what you bring up during the “talk” can help you come up with an informed decision.

4. Give a Clear and Honest Feedback

After hearing out the employee, be certain that you will provide a clear and honest feedback to his problem. This may be one of the most uncomfortable things to do, but it can help reduce his or her defensiveness and at the same time, your feedback can bring them back to reality and set them back on the right track. You can also use the moment to provide the employee with suggestions on how he or she can improve.

5. Document the Conversation

After you have actively listened to the employee, make a summary of the key information to document the important things that happened during your conversation. You can then create a plan that is agreed both by you and the employee. To make this effective, you must explain how the inappropriateness of their behavior and their low performance can affect not just the team, but the company as well. Give them a time to change their ways. Do not also forget to set consequences if things remain the same and no improvement has been made within the given period.

6. Know When to Terminate

Although you may have held high hopes for improvement, sometimes, it is the employee himself who does not want to improve. When this happens, you are left with no choice but to let go of the employee but make sure that you have given him enough warnings before terminating his employment contract with the company.

Sample Employee Warning Letter Templates that You Can Download and Use as Reference

Employee Behavior Warning Letter Template

employee behavior warning letter template 1

Employee Performance Warning Letter Template

employee performance warning letter template 1

Professional Warning Letter to Employee

professional warning letter to employee page 004

Reporting Late to Work Warning Letter Template

reporting late to work warning letter template page 001

Employee Warning Letter

employee warning letter template 1

Disciplinary Warning Letter

disciplinary warning letter 1

Final Warning Letter Template

final warning letter template 1

Free Warning Letter for Poor Attendance Word Doc Download

free warning letter for poor attendance word doc download 1 788x1020

First Warning Letter for Late Coming

first warning letter for late coming 1

Staff Warning Letter Format

staff warning letter format 1

Final Thoughts

When you keep these things in mind when handling a difficult employee, no matter what the outcome of your efforts, you will have a clear conscience that you have given your best to help him or her. Make sure to check out and download our HR contract templates and disciplinary letter templates before leaving this article.



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