Employee problem: take action or not

At first, managers typically ignore problem employees for several reasons. They hope the problem is not serious. They believe the problem will go away on its own. They are unsure about what to do.

They have other things on their minds that divert their attention from the problem employee situation. Of course, in many cases, the problem does clear up with little, if any, managerial action.

This reinforces the inactivity on the manager’s part. But if it does not resolve itself, the manager is in a difficult situation because he or she let the problem go on for some length of time.

Cost issues: The costs involved in resolving a problem employee situation are difficult to predict. At the outset, managers do not know how much it will cost them to resolve the situation.

It is difficult to predict just what will work, what will be covered by insurance, and what the costs of lost production are due to the problem employee’s behavior.

Furthermore, opportunity costs are associated with trying to correct problem employee behavior; the manager could be doing something with his or her time and effort other than trying to deal with the problem employee.

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