While managers typically have the final say in recruitment decisions, they cannot always foresee how a candidate will act once they are hired.
Furthermore, newer leaders are often stuck with the team members who were there before them, even if they don’t get along.
Although employers do have the option to fire staff, doing so should always be left as a last resort as it can bring about a myriad of negative consequences.
The truth is that managers are often forced to work with staff that they don’t particularly like.
While this is not anyone’s choice, these employees can be managed well with these strategies.
Get To Know Them
This may sound like the last thing you want to do, but spending extra time in order to get to know an employee you may not like can be very beneficial.
Individuals bond over things in common, such as interests, hobbies, viewpoints, etc.
By going to lunch or grabbing a drink with your staff and concentrating on learning more about them, you may actually come to find similarities that will make your relationship better.
Furthermore, you may realise that your employee is actually an introvert, and the qualities you took to be rude or dismissive were actually just shyness.
Either way, by trying to find common ground in an effort to get to know your staff, you may find ways to manage them more effectively.
Don’t Isolate Them
It is often natural to try and avoid a person you dislike.
Either consciously or unconsciously, leaders may isolate employees that annoy, anger or frustrate them.
They can altogether avoid them, or simply not allow them as much face-to-face time as other team members.
They tend to provide these workers with less feedback, as they simply don’t want to take the time to oversee their work.
However, ostracising employees you don’t like working with is the worst thing you can do.
It is probable that they already know that you two don’t click, and providing further evidence by avoiding them will only prove this belief, and will make them act out even more.
No matter how hard it is, you must make sure to treat these employees the same as all your other ones, regardless of your personal beliefs.
As a manager, it is your duty to effectively lead all of your staff.
If playing nice did not change the behaviour of the staff you are not particularly liking, consider providing feedback.
However, you must be certain that your negative attitude is based on work-related factors, and not on personal ones.
For example, you may be frustrated that the staff is unambitious, comes in late, turns in unfinished work, is rude or is a know-it-all.
These are the items you can address in a private meeting, bringing up how these things disrupt workflow.
If you are rubbed the wrong way because of personal beliefs, such as politics, religion or simply personality, those are things you cannot bring up, and must deal with internally.
There are positive and negatives ways of dealing with employees you may not like.
Instead of letting them go, quitting yourself, yelling or ignoring them, try these helpful suggestions to improve your working relationship.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 18 April, 2016
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