How to Deal with a Problem IT Employee

Handling Toxic Employees

Have you been dealing with an employee in your IT department who frequently causes drama in some way or contributes to a toxic atmosphere on your team? While workplace drama often works itself out, certain situations can have disastrous effects on your culture and bottom line, affecting your entire organization for the worse. Taking action to address problematic behavior on your team before things get out of hand is critical for the well-being of your organization.

Here are three steps you can take to proactively deal with this type of employee:

Communicate face-to-face with the employee. Ignoring problematic behavior or sweeping issues under the rug will only make matters worse. When it comes to a highly emotional person, for example, it’s critical that you address them in a face-to-face manner with all parties involved. Give everyone an opportunity to communicate their grievances and explain themselves in a private setting. No matter how serious or insignificant an issue may seem, let your employees know that their concerns have been heard and acknowledged by the leadership team and that you plan to resolve the issue. You may find that the root of the problematic behavior is something that you can assist with so all parties can move on and get back to working together.

Take appropriate action. Once you’ve personally met with the employee exhibiting problematic behavior, you can determine the best course of action in responding to the situation. In some cases, the issue may only require a minor response or resolution. In other instances, you may need to intervene and get others involved. Because interpersonal drama can have insidious effects on your workplace, it’s not something you’ll want to ignore. Take whatever action is needed to improve your culture and create an atmosphere in which all of your employees feel respected and valued as individuals. If this means firing somebody for egregious behavior or creating a new policy to stop toxic habits, then this is the action that needs to be taken.

Implement regular coaching and mentorship. Regular coaching and mentorship can be instrumental in preventing drama from ensuing in the workplace. By matching your employees with trusted coaches and mentors, they will receive guidance and help as they encounter challenges on the job. Through a mentorship program, your employees will receive regular training and feedback to help them learn from their mistakes and have the opportunity to ask questions when different situations arise. Furthermore, coaching and mentorship keeps employees on track for professional success, helping to eliminate petty distractions in the workplace and keep them focused on their individual performance.

Half the battle of dealing with toxic behavior is to create a culture that counteracts drama at its core. By creating an environment of team-building and open communication, you can reduce the likelihood of these behaviors occurring thanks to a positive and supportive culture.

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