Work Tips: How to Teach a Stubborn and Unproductive Employee

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

Do not punch. Do NOT punch...!

Being a stubborn employee or an unproductive employee is damaging for the company, especially if you’re actually the boss handling them. Working in a company, either as a boss or an employee, is equally rough on both sides. On the employee side, you need to maintain work productivity and work relations, all the while getting yelled at by your boss all the time. On the boss’s side, there is always that one person who is either a stubborn employee, an unproductive employee, or both at the same time. These lazy people are harmful to the employee relations among the boss and his or her subordinate, and also to the company as a whole. How do you teach them to follow the company policy and work properly, or even better: increasing their work productivity? We’ll help you to overcome this challenge by giving top tips below!

Work Tips: How to Teach a Stubborn and Unproductive Employee

Let’s say you have a subordinate named John Doe. This guy is a lazy employee who sleeps in the workplace like nobody’s business. John is also a stubborn employee who hates following orders, even from the boss him/herself (YOU). Last but not least, John in an unproductive employee whose work productivity is near zero. What to do with him? You can easily fire him, but let’s try these steps first:

Stay Calm

Yes, this subordinate is being annoying but don’t get angry. He may have an actual reason for being lazy like this, so keep that in mind and don’t judge him early.

Approach Gently

Now you’re level-headed, call him for a private talk. Don’t try to look threatening with a dry smile or anything, just be casual! Otherwise, he may throw a tantrum and complicate things.

Evaluate Objectively

Now it’s just the two of you, start talking about the problem objectively. Tell him about his poor work productivity, his stubborn attitude, lazy conduct, and so on calmly. Don’t yell or raise your voice, no matter how childish he may act. State everything matter-of-factly so he’ll understand that this is serious.

Find a Solution

Afterward, ask why he has this problem. Maybe it’s the work environment? Influence of another lazy employee? Ask him without being mean or judging, so the two of you may reach a solution.

Be Firm

Depending on your company policy and HR, John may be one step away from dismissal. Calmly and gently, warn him that he really needs to change his work style. Warn him of the danger this situation has brought, careful not to sound threatening.

Positive Encouragement

Once he understands, remind him of any positive things of staying in the company such as an employee benefit, HR support or potential promotion. As long as he’s willing to do this seriously, make sure to help.

Punish Accordingly

If John fails to change his work productivity, staying a stubborn employee who rejects to fix the employee relations between the two of you… cut him off. Fire him objectively, don’t make it personal. The boss (you) has warned and supported him enough, so no more excuses.

And that’s out step by step tips to handle an unproductive employee! Remember to avoid any office drama that may bring harmful gossips to the work environment. If you need any help in scouting for a potential employee or moving to another career path, contact us! Once you submitted your CV and Resume, we’ll make sure you have a better employee or career path. You can do it, boss!


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