According to Jonathan Raymond, author of “Good Authority: How to Become the Leader Your Team is Waiting For,” managers should treat these employees as if they are the spokesperson for the team. Their frustrations could also be the frustrations of other members of the team who might just not be willing to speak up and risk saying something that would offend the higher-ups. The problem might not be an isolated case, which is why managers should still pay attention to the disgruntled employee’s complaints.
Creating cliques at work can also do more harm than good. When conflict arises between an employee and the manager, almost every team member will side with the team leader one way or another out of self-preservation. As a leader, managers should not let a difficult employee situation escalate into a divisive problem.
Great leaders should also accept dissent as honest feedback. This could be the hardest thing that a manager should do, but doing so allows team members to have a safe environment to share what they are really thinking and not be afraid of severe repercussions for voicing out their opinions.
It’s easy to dismiss an employee’s difficult behaviour as a personality problem, but it’s also possible that his frustrations are stemming out from a conflict with the company environment and values. Managers can turn this around by increasing employee engagement and opening new possibilities for them.