5 Ways to "Fix" Problem People

By the Numbers

Read also the story of "Yvonne".

The good news is that problem employees can be “fixed”. Here are some simple rules for “fixing” problem people.

1. People will not change, but they will grasp a new vision.

Because Yvonne’s transformation was extremely dramatic, it is unusual. Yet it proves that true change is possible once we realize it isn’t about changing an employee – it is about understanding an employee. Yvonne was not “fixed” until Greg helped her capture a vision of a better working relationship.

2. Everybody wants to do a great job.

People want to look in the mirror at night and be able to say, “I was a success today!” They want their friends and relatives to be proud of them and their success. The problem is many people have been disillusioned by life’s experiences. The successful manager needs to identify the employee’s motivators in order to return them to the attitude of daily success.

3. Everybody is loved by somebody.

No matter how difficult it is to deal with problem employees, it still needs to be done. The secret lies in realizing that everybody has a lovable quality. Identify this quality, or cultivate a desire to seek it, and you will do well in helping the problem employee.

4. Well-defined boundaries prevent wars.

Just as well-defined national borders prevent wars, well-defined workplace boundaries slow the development of problem employees. Non-negotiable boundaries need to be clearly set and fairly enforced, problem employees can be contained.

5. The Lone Ranger never rode alone.

Tonto was the Lone Ranger’s faithful companion, ready to help the other in time of need. The effective manager needs to recognize that sometimes they need to have a “Tonto” at their side. Virtually all great leaders have sought out a coach or mentor.