Set Boundaries That Deal With Difficult Employee Behaviors

Set boundaries that deal with difficult employee behaviors. I realize that getting people to do what you need them to do can be difficult, especially now in a global pandemic where stress levels are high and conflict is brewing with differences of opinion and a lack of previous experience navigating such a perfect storm of change, uncertainty and fear. Boundaries clarify the details to be followed, and from my experience, employees are looking for them.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve shared a 4 Step Approach to Dealing with Difficult Employee Behaviors to help managers and supervisors understand what employees want and need most. I mentioned that the steps in the cycle can be entered at any point but all of them should be completed. This Leadership Tip will help you set and assert boundaries, and understand the role that they play in conflict resolution.

The Steps:

  • Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Difficult Conversations, 5 Step model
  • Follow Up and Follow Through

People feel more safe with boundaries than without them. So much of the conflict I help resolve in workplaces stems from lack of boundaries, for example policies or procedures not being fixed, followed, or followed up on with consequences. People may push until they hit the walls of the boundaries you’ve set and are following through with enforcement and consequences, but think of the symbolism of guard rails on a highway that prevent traffic from leaving the road.

Keeping people in bounds and efficient in their lanes is a function that employees are expecting from their leaders.