Dealing with Challenging Staff Members

Dealing with Challenging Staff Members
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-02-15
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Dealing with Challenging Staff Members
Unit 2Transcript: Dealing with Challenging Staff Members
Unit 3Workbook: Dealing with Challenging Staff Members
Unit 4Recording: Dealing with Challenging Staff Members

Anyone who has been put in charge of a group of people is well aware that there will always be someone or a few who will make the job a little bit more challenging than it should. When this happens what do you do? How do you straighten them up so that they become a productive member of the team? In this webinar, Ed Sherman shares effective strategies to reduce stressful interactions to enhance employee and organizational outcomes.

Ed Sherman is an organizational consultant, executive coach, and leadership development specialist. He’s worked in the public safety field for over 40 years and served as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, and paramedic.

Specifics of Ed’s discussion include:

  • The Leader’s Dilemma: How the interests of the employees and the employers are viewed to be at odds with each other, and the leaders balancing act to ensure each of the parties’ needs are accounted for.
  • Strategies that support both the organization and the people and alleviate the leader’s dilemma.
    • Creating a workplace culture where employees can safely communicate their ideas and concerns.
    • Leaders proactively conveying concern and offering assistance by reaching out to employees.
    • Ensuring that resources to address employees’ concerns are made available proactively.
    • Conducting periodic check-ins with employees particularly those that do not initiate conversations or are not comfortable voicing out their concerns.
    • Clarifying work expectations during hiring, promotions, or new assignments and providing ongoing feedback based on these
  • The two reasons why managing challenging staff members are considered to be the situation that leaders dislike dealing with the most.
  • The steps to handle challenging staff members.
    • Gathering important information to get a better understanding of the situation while also being wary about things that can be and cannot be shared.
    • Seeking first to understand to get a better grasp of that employee’s thoughts, feelings, and general perspective about the situation.
    • Leveraging the rapport built during the previous step to obtain voluntary compliance and buy-in towards an amenable resolution.
    • Reviewing options for resolution together with a multidisciplinary group of professionals who can provide different ideas and perspectives that may resolve the issue or situation at hand.
    • Delivering a performance improvement plan that is interactive and built with an ongoing follow-up mechanism.
  • The two different paths to conduct a performance improvement plan for healthy more compliant employees, and the more stubborn tough customers.
  • Resources to serve as guidelines to better navigate difficult situations caused by challenging employees.
  • A case example that demonstrates how concepts, strategies, and steps covered in this webinar can help you solve a problematic employee situation.

Questions raised by the webinar attendees are about:

  • Managing an employee that is:
    • Productive but tends to intrude into others’ work and duties.
    • Productive but demonstrate passive-aggressive behavior with colleagues.
  • The conclusion of the case example provided.
  • The next steps to take when an employee failed to deliver what is agreed upon in the performance improvement plan.
  • Encouraging staff members to work out issues within themselves before escalating it to management.
  • What to do when the reason for challenging staff behavior is you.


Resources Mentioned During Webinar:


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Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “I appreciate the way Dr. Sherman speaks in such a nurturing and positive way to resolve issues. His words were encouraging, kind, and optimistic. Great job!” — Octavia
  • “All information discussed today was valuable!” — Stephene
  • “I have always stressed we should advise new employees and promoted ones, what is expected. So they know what they are getting into from the start. It was nice to hear the presenter say the same thing in his own words.” — Melesio
  • “Most valuable thing that I learned from this webinar is the importance of balancing the needs of the staff with the needs of the organization through effective communication. No additional feedback- well-presented data.” — Roxann
  • “The most valuable thing I learned it was about a question that Dr. Sherman answered in regards to how to deal with staff who have a tendency to be passive-aggressive and create conflicts in the workplace.” — Aglahia
  • “Approaches to problem employees have changed over the decades. Before, it was strictly discipline. This approach appeals more to me because it allows the employee to work on improvements prior to discipline.” — Patricia
  • “The cadence was on point, not too fast nor slow. The visuals with the bullet points made it easier to make notes. I enjoyed how Mr. Sherman shared his knowledge without being “above” the audience and welcomed all questions!” — Rebecca
  • “The most valuable thing was learning how to really address a difficult employee. Most of the time organizations focus on policy training but forget to focus on human behavior.” — Ana
  • “The questions at the end were very enlightening and it helps to know that everyone deals with difficult employees and that there are solutions for moving forward with them.” — Andrea


Additional Resources
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