Multicolored wheel divided into 7 equal sections Recruitment, Training and Development, Benifits and Compensation, Communicating, Employee Relations, Recordkeeping, and Health safety and security with Legal compliance written on the outer edge and company strategy in the center employee relations is emphasized

More Difficult People Resources


Ughhhh…we have an employee that does a great job at what she does (technically speaking) but she is very challenging for everyone to work with between her attitude, comments, and more. Many employees can’t stand to work with her. What do we do?


Your dilemma brought back memories of similar “people problems” for all of us!  We’ve all had unhappy experiences as HR Managers dealing with staff that are technically competent but difficult to work with.

We do have some recommendations for resources on this topic, which are listed below.  We make these recommendations not knowing the specific behaviors that are challenging to you and the other staff in your unit.

  • Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dealing with Difficult Employees – Robert Bacal
  • 201 Ways to Deal with Difficult People – Alan Axelrod, et al
  • Dealing with Problem Employees:  A Legal Guide – Amy Delpo and Lisa Guerin
  • Managing Negative People:  Strategies for Success – S. Michael Kravitz
  • Since Strangling Isn’t an Option:  Dealing with Difficult People – Common Problems and Uncommon Solutions – Sandra A. Crowe

These books are all available through, and a favorite is the Kravitz book.

Our  experience has shown  that to change behaviors, it’s necessary to change the consequences of behaviors.  If your difficult employee doesn’t hear clearly and unequivocably that her behaviors are unacceptable and that there are consequences to not changing (i.e., no promotions or raises), she likely won’t find it in her best interests to adjust.

Thanks to Linda Gravett PhD, SPHR, CEQC with Gravett and Associates for sharing her insight on working with a difficult employee.  To contact Linda directly, she can be reached at or 513-753-8870.

One of the stickiest aspects to human resources management is Employee Relations. Are you having difficulties in your company that stem from employee-employer related issues? Strategic HR, inc. has years of experience in employment relations Visit our Employee Relations page to learn how we can help you resolve some of your toughest ER problems.