Four Ways to Turn an Angry Employee into a Good Employee

How are your resolutions coming? The New Year is just around the corner and chances are last year’s resolutions are but a distant memory. Good! That means there’s room for some new ones!!

Even though January is often a bleak month (at least weather wise) for many parts of our country, it’s also a chance for new beginnings. People kick off all sorts of crazes in January, all in the name of bringing some much-needed change into their lives.

We love this roundup of New Year’s Resolutions provided by Statistic Brain, part of which states that 45% of Americans usually make at least one resolution. Of the top ten resolutions in 2014, losing weight ranked first while spending more time with family rounded out the list. Click on the link above to get the goodies in the middle.

It’s worth mentioning that not one resolution on the top ten list has anything to do with work or climbing the career ladder. We, however, think there is one very viable New Year’s resolution that should be on every managers list: how to turn an angry employee into a good employee.

Every Office Has One

Now, if you’re the manager AND you’re the angry employee, we suggest forwarding this post to your immediate supervisor.

Subject Line: Help You Help Me

Every office has at least one angry employee. The caustic emotion can lead to all sorts of problems, from everyday conflicts to destruction of property to, worst of all, horrific and violent outcomes.

There are several common types of anger (click here for the entire list from BOSS Programs) – do you recognize an employee who exhibits any of these signs? Thanks to BOSS Programs for the definitions and explanations.

Behavioral Anger – This type of anger usually describes someone who is aggressive towards whatever triggered their anger… this can be another person. This can be someone who always seems to act out, or is troublesome. Sometimes the outcome is physical abuse or attacks against others.

Passive Anger – People who use sarcasm or mockery as a way to hide their feelings, typically express this form of anger. They tend to avoid confrontations with people or situations.

Verbal Anger – Anger that’s expressed mostly through words and not actions. Verbal abuse is used to criticize and insult people (put them down) and complain.

Constructive Anger – This type of anger is a key factor in driving people to want to join movements and groups. It’s the feeling of being fed up with how things are going, and the need to make a positive change.

Self-inflicted Anger – Anger that translates in causing harm to one’s own body. People who use this type of anger are acting out by punishing themselves for something they’ve done wrong. Some examples include starvation, cutting, and overeating.

All is not lost if you realize you have an angry employee in your midst. Although you can’t be responsible for what happens outside of work or if the employee chooses to seek help for their anger, there are some things you can do within your walls to turn this person’s attitude around.

For starters, we recommend watching this video posted by eHow Money and Vivian Scott.

It’s an informative launching pad to learn why an employee’s anger in the workplace is so destructive and how to individually assess what strategies you can use to help your angry employee overcome this challenge.

We also reached out to Amy Breuer, Chief Communication Officer of Dickens Communication & Consulting, an expert in the field of team building and peer discovery, for advice. Here are four things managers need to do to help make an angry employee a good employee:

Reflect Before You Speak – “You always need to take time out to reflect on the situation or performance issue and as part of that, I think it’s important to understand your own communication style and the style of others and adjust accordingly,” says Breuer. “Direct and to the point could sometimes offend someone and make the situation worse. By mirroring the communication style of others, you will find the discussion will go more smoothly and you will get to the results you want more quickly than simply shooting from the hip.”

Go One on One – “Set aside time to speak with the employee to begin getting to the root of the problems by asking curious and open ended questions. As we all know too well, sometimes what is said isn’t necessarily what is heard so making sure that both parties restate what they’re hearing is important to ensure everyone is on the same page.”

Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem – “Finding a solution is the end result! While it’s important to seek feedback from employees as to what they feel would work well, and if possible, find a solution that works for all parties, [it’s important to remember that] as a leader, there will be times that you will have to make an unpopular choice that will ultimately be best for the team. Making sure that communication is clear and that a written plan is put into place for compliance is critical.”

Stay Tuned In – “Having short interval meetings will be critical to the success of your team member. Setting aside this time will allow you to evaluate progress, redirect any behavior where necessary and/or celebrate their success!”

Do you have any success stories or failures you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Send us a comment below. Now, back to writing our New Year’s Resolutions…….

This entry was posted in Background Screening, General, Human Resources, Industry Solutions, News, References & Credentialing, Seasonal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia's clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter - give her a shout @pattycfreelance.
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