very park and recreation manager wishes his or her agency could be staffed exclusively with highly motivated, enthusiastic individuals who have flawless personalities.These employees would always be happy and satisfied; they'd never complain, become argumentative or make unreasonable demands.What motivates people to be difficult in the workplace?

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Through trial-and-error, we exhibit a variety of behaviors that others around us either reward or punish.

When our behaviors are rewarded, they are reinforced and we learn to repeat them.

"These employees don't care whether they generate a positive reaction, like praise, or a negative reaction, like being yelled at," says Bacal.

"They gain some level of psychological satisfaction and personal reward from either." It's clear that difficult employees create a great deal of havoc in the workplace. While they acknowledge the costs and burdens of these employees, many agencies ignore the problem (hoping it will go away) or simply fail to act.

For example, an employee who is prone to shouting profanities when angry should be told, "If you continue to swear when you an upset, you will be written up and suspended without pay." Once these limits are established, supervisors must follow through with the appropriate consequences whenever the inappropriate behavior occurs.

Sometimes difficult employees are unwilling to change their behaviors.

Ask the employee what he can do to change his behavior in the future, and close the meeting by summarizing the points discussed and ways the employee will work to improve his behavior.

In addition to feedback, it is vital for supervisors to communicate clear limits for the employee's behavior, along with the consequences that will occur if the behavior continues.

Feedback can be factual (based on observations of the employee's behavior and its resulting consequences) or emotional (based on how other people react to the employee's behavior).

Ideally, both types of feedback should be shared with the employee in a feedback meeting.

The most important tool a supervisor can use in addressing the difficult employee's problem behavior is feedback.