Wouldn’t it be great if everybody you managed just did whatever you said, turned up to work every day without a fuss and generally had the same great work ethic as you do? It would, wouldn’t it? Except for the fact that that is a dream world which will never come to pass, no matter what organisation you work for. The reality is that there will always be some people who are just plain hard to manage. They’re the people who are moody, can’t take criticism and get distracted easily by pictures of cats on Instagram. What are you supposed to do with these people, apart from throwing them out on the street, of course?

Deal With Conflict Directly – Don’t Bulldoze
Conflict is a part of everyday management. Managers who hate conflict probably shouldn’t be in the role that they are in because avoiding conflict is avoiding doing the job. The best managers are those who deal with conflict head-on, rather than try to brush it under the rug and hope that it goes away. If an employee is creating conflict, deal with it. Look for a way to find a solution, collaboratively if possible, which tries to find win-win outcomes for all parties involved. Often, even the most troublesome of employees will see reason once something has been explained to them in sufficient detail.

Get Help When Needed
Human resources is a challenging field which is why so many companies now use outsourced HR services. It’s a simple step, but one that is often neglected. Other companies are often a lot better at dealing with HR issues than you are, so let the professionals take care of it while you get back to running your business.

It’s also a good idea to ask for help from mentors. Anybody who is anybody in the business world has dealt with their fair share of difficult people. They’ll be able to offer advice on who to hire to avoid potential difficulties, as well as how to manage individual situations. Don’t just look for someone who will agree with you no matter what you say: find a mentor who will challenge you and prompt you to make the right decisions for the long-term health of your company.

Set Clear Performance Targets To Avoid Debate
It’s a good idea, wherever possible, to set minimum performance objectives for your employees. The reason for doing this is that it means that when performance targets aren’t met, there’s no room for debate. Let’s say that one of your customer service staff is consistently receiving low review scores for their telephone assistance. Having a rating system after each call helps turn their performance into something objective: it’s not about what you think, it’s about how they are performing according to dozens of customer interactions. Removing the personal element from performance evaluations helps to keep you objective and deflect employee ire.

The bottom line is that companies need to figure out whether the people working for them are assets or liabilities. If they’re assets, keep them. If not, let them go.