How to Deal With Difficult Co-Workers Without Affecting Your Productivity ?

  • 10th May'22
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Employees are the most integral part of every business, if the workers have clear vision and mindsets then they can complete every task effectively. It enables the desired and impactful outcomes. But what if you do not have cooperative and seasoned co-workers!

Well, then you would not be able to utilize the optimum potential of all the resources. And this will drain productivity and also create a holistic work environment. So you should know how to increase productivity and relevancy, to have better outcomes. It is the primary responsibility of the business owners and managers to deal with the difficult co-workers wisely, and address their behavioral and performance issues by creating a plan. Therefore you have to constantly observe their performance and progress, if they do not improve the feedback then you can fire them for the benefit of your business and the morale of other workers. 

To resolve this issue you can follow some strategies! Let’s talk about it!


Deal with difficult co workers


Identify Difficult Workers

Identifying the difficult co-workers is the prime element of dealing with them. Sometimes the hurdles and problems are obvious but sometimes not. So you need to develop strong relationships and communication with your co-workers so that they can tell you anything without any hesitation. 

Listen carefully to all the employees and observe the atmosphere in the workplace. If you feel anything wrong, then you would have to be proactive and also try to identify the negativity. Another tricky situation that may arise is that employees complain about each other and you are in a dilemma as to whom you should believe. In that case, you have to listen to both sides of the story and then proceed with the most suitable solution, after investigating all the aspects. 

As per the survey, it is revealed that 74% of employees experience conflict in the workplace. Most of the issues were minor but in some cases the problem was serious. Dealing with difficult employees requires more time and energy. As the problems can poison the workplace. 

We Have to look at some prime strategies to manage difficult employees, by discussing the effective ways of dealing with them.

Be Aware of Coworker

Awareness and action is the most important element of dealing with co-workers. So you have to be aware of co-workers and their behavior. You should know how they can create an impact on you and the business operations. The first step to avoid is to safeguard productivity. If you narrow down the problem and the fact that your co-workers complain in the open office, and it derails your concentration then you can take steps to change the desk or work remotely. Then you will be able to complete many high priority tasks. 

Make the Communication

You have to make effective communication with difficult employees and the top tip is to handle the difficult co-workers' pause and acknowledge their disruptive behaviors and provide essential directions. You should become an active listener, as this will enhance your observing skills. I can explain to you this from my experience, “I was once called by my manager and he shouted at me because a client got angry with him and shouted. So what I did is cut off mid-rant and said that I am sorry for what has happened to you and it is not good to call someone and start squealing at him. And the next thing is that I have no idea what you are talking about. So could you please walk me through the issue? “After that, he never shouted at me.   

So you should make a keen and clear communication with the difficult co-worker and ignore them instead of being counterproductive. 


Deal with difficult co workers


Be Clear

While dealing with difficult co-workers, you have to stand in their shoes, but it is also important to be clear about what you expect as a business manager. You should first give the person to put his side and later you should put your side. After this, you should state what behavior you are expecting and why it is important. So make the plan and monitor the action and follow up your instructions later to assess how things are going.

Disciplinary Procedures

Being a business owner and manager you should take disciplinary actions to have transparent and clear rules for dealing with difficult co-workers. To make this process simpler you should have a handbook that details the working structures of the employees and the behavior you expect from them. This enables you to create a disciplinary process and work accordingly. 

Build Alliance

The social dynamics of the workplace can be complex and it is also hard to generalize those. But it is suggested that if you are involved in a conflict, then it is good not to be isolated. In other words, having friendships and healthier relationships with other co-workers can help you in strengthening your position. This will also discourage other workers from creating any problems or issues. 

You should not complain about the workers with your colleagues. This is unprofessional to your co-workers and can inflame the conflict. In short, the idea to build the alliance is to develop a positive relationship with the other staff members.


Deal with difficult co workers


Monitor Progress

You should offer enough time to your employee to adjust their behavior. With this, you need to monitor the progress and make a note about any issue. Check in frequently to have a better sense of how they are progressing with the agreed and predetermined plans. You can schedule a thorough in person evaluation once the plan’s timeline has been completed to discuss how the situation has progressed. Besides this, there are some other tips to deal with the disruptive employees and these are:

  • Rearrange the Desks in the Office

  • Schedule the meetings

  • Encourage work from home

  • Reassign the tasks or projects to remove the disruptive workers from the team

  • Document the detail of the situation

  • Don’t let the behavior stop you or the team from doing your work

Thus team building can create good team bonding and can increase the productivity of your business. 



Working or dealing with difficult people is not something that can be enjoyed by anyone. Eventually, you have to face the pros and cons of this issue. Therefore it is important for you to face and deal with difficult people. To see how the problem lies and start with good faith is the most significant tool of discussion to resolve any particular problem. But you have to make sure that this discussion should be fair and go well. We have to be cautious about what employees can do to deal with toxic workers. 

For more articles on team building and its spirit stay tuned with us!


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About the author:

Roshni Khatri, OpenGrowth Content Team

A keen observer, who loves to spend time with nature. A fun loving person, enjoys to explore the new aspects of life. Passionate about reading and learning new things. Roshni is dedicated towards her work and has worked in different professions.

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