How to get along with Difficult Employees

Are some of your employees difficult to deal with? Are they giving you a hard time? If YES, then this article is for you.

Difficult employees will not only affect you as their supervisor, but also the workplace environment, as well as the morale of the entire team. Reasons for being tough to work with may vary from genuine to non-genuine ones, but the quicker the problem is addressed, the higher the chances of finding a lasting solution.

We may not be a source of the rightful solution to dealing with difficult staff but we believe our advice will help you figure out a way forward. Read through the following:

Work with facts not hearsay and hyperbole

It’s very dangerous to be caught up in some office gossip, or taking action based on impulses. Before you get down to addressing any cases of difficult employees, be diligent enough in gathering your facts. The situation might be bad as at now, but you’ll be making it worse if you jump into conclusions based on entirely wrong details.

Some of the key questions you need to find answers to may include – In what ways are they being difficult to work with? Is it being a recurrent and disruptive behavior or it’s just an isolated occurrence? What’s the effect on the team’s morale and energy? And, finally, are there other members of the team involved?

Let them Express themselves

Never ever allow your own assumptions to overrule everything. As a manager, it is part of your responsibility to actually listen to your employees. However much you would like to put your point across to the employee in question, allow them to bring forth their own side of the story.

This may help you uncover some potential reasons behind their poor performance or behavior. For instance, they may be struggling with personal problems that could possibly negate their effort at work, or perhaps there’s a specific area of their role that is proving difficult to cope with.

Such feedback is crucial as you’ll have a glimpse of what could be happening behind the scenes.

Avoid making it Personal

Direct personal attack on your staff can lead to unwanted scenes of confrontations or other uncomfortable situations. However much you try to offer genuine advice, with the most innocent intentions, some people may feel like you’re launching personal attack on them.

So, to avoid sounding personal with your advice, always try your level best to be constructive with your feedback. Don’t generalize your feedback on their behavior. Instead, point out the specific areas where they’ve fallen short of your expectations. Avoid directing advice to individuals; instead, let it cut across to everyone in the team. Finally, be consistent with your criticism – or rather be professional at all cost.

Make a joint Action Plan

In a business setup, action plans are a great route to get you and your employees back on track.

Call for a meeting with them, and jointly come up with a comprehensive list of achievable goals. Then come up with bullet points on how to achieve the targets, and agree on a timeframe for implementation – not forgetting regular intervals for reporting the progress.

Give them some focus, track their progress, check in with them regularly, be supportive, and see how they’re fairing on as far as achieving their objectives is concerned.

Just be Honest

It’s unfortunate that, sometimes, people are just not good fit for your team, no matter how hard you try to salvage the situation.

If that’s the case, then chances are high that both you and the employee are aware of it. You might have tried nearly everything within your ability, and yet no significant improvement. Hold an honest conversation with the employee to find out whether they’re really happy in their current role. Some employees are honest enough to admit that they’re actually struggling or their heart isn’t in it at all.

This might call for a difficult decision to bring up a change, but might end up being the best for both parties, and the rest of the team. Don’t be afraid to follow it through.

Think about achieving a Positive Change

For sure, dealing with difficult staff is undoubtedly among the hardest things you have to bring to bed as a manager.

Unfortunately, the managerial role comes with such inevitable tasks. The way you address such a situation is enough to bring out your leadership skills, and also reveal to your team what kind of leader you are.

Regardless of the potential impact on the business, deal with difficult employees with courage and confidence. Face the problems head on – don’t ignore or put off any crucial conversation, and of course never delegate such a sensitive issue to anyone. With that kind of approach, any kind of negative can be turned into a positive.

Tips to Improve Employee Wellbeing

On the scale of 10, how would you rate your workplace wellbeing? It is quite easy – just measure the level of productivity at the workplace. Employee wellbeing is very essential for any organization that dreams of running smoothly into the future. Where there is no or poor workplace wellbeing, businesses could suffer from various setbacks such as negative staff morale, poor productivity, and a generally unhappy working atmosphere. They may also experience an increase in employee absenteeism.

Want to improve employee wellbeing at your business? Below are several simple tips to ensure that your staffs remain motivated at the workplace.

  1. Invest in team relationships

In some cases, the key to co-workers’ happiness comes down to how they get along with each other. Healthy working relationships can go a long way to breed a happy workforce.

To encourage good team relationships, organize more team building events, and other bonding activities such as informal meetings, and lunch/dinner outings. Such events will promote a more fun and sociable atmosphere, in which everyone is able to open up and air out their ideas and opinions.

  1. Encourage mindfulness

There are various simple techniques that, if incorporated into a one’s day-to-day, could boost their ability to cope with stressful situations. Your staff could be overworking without their consent – so you can consider encouraging several mindfulness boosting techniques such as:

  • Meditating for a short while before work
  • Devoting into one task at a time
  • Staying away from digital devices (PCs, laptops, smartphones) a few times a day
  • Spending a minimum of 5 minutes a day doing absolutely nothing (i.e. before/after working hours)

Such mindfulness boosting exercises could help them become aware of themselves and their surroundings, and most likely keep any type of negativity in check. This, in turn, could alleviate their stress levels, improve their interpersonal relationships, and eventually become more productive.

  1. Make Ergonomics top priority

From the dictionary, Ergonomics is the study of how equipment and furniture can be arranged in order that people can do work or other activities more efficiently and comfortably. This is crucial because, if overlooked, it can lead to posture-related hazards.

For instance, professions that involve sitting for long hours could negatively affect your employees’ mind and body. Similarly, jobs that involve standing for long, a lot of walking, or numerous instances of lifting could result in long term health issues if correct procedures for the each task are not followed.

It’s therefore important to ensure all of your employees are performing their tasks jobs while keeping in mind the correct health and safety measures. Improving the posture amongst your staff as they do their job is vital – this could lower chances of depression, tiredness, and eventually make them more productive.

  1. Encourage healthy choices and lifestyle

Promoting healthy choices of diet and lifestyle in the office is key to improving the wellbeing of your staff. Healthy lunches, keeping hydrated, regular stretching and exercising, etc. constitute some of the things you can promote amongst your employees.

To ensure sustained productivity by your employees, you can opt for some incentives in form of freebies like nutritious breakfast, free fruit, or subsidized gym/aerobics subscriptions. Such options could have a positive impact on the team morale. Similarly, the breaks play a big role in their quest of avoiding fatigue.

  1. Recognize every good work

In most workplaces, recognition is an obvious booster of team morale, even though it can be overlooked. Your employees will appreciate and stay motivated if you encourage and support their goals and aspirations, however small they might be. You can implement employees’ recognition in various creative ways – for instance a reward system for value-adding ideas, identifying employees who put an extra effort, or recognizing those who go an extra mile, among others. This will have a ripple effect on the employees’ morale and drive, as well as productivity because they’ll be working towards the tailored incentives you’ve set.

  1. Find problems

Sometimes you’ll need to employ thorough investigations in order to uncover the underlying problems that could be the cause of negative team wellbeing. For example, if you experience frequent cases of absenteeism, it’s the high time you got to the root of the issue. Most likely, your employees are overworking, or their health and safety at work is being overlooked. Consequently, lack of motivation, negative attitude, or poor standards of work are possible results of these problems.

The best way to address these problems is giving your employees the opportunity to open up on what might be bothering them behind the scenes. With such insights, you will be able to offer them a lasting solution. All employees want is to know that their problems at workplace are not being ignored.


Want to Help your Employees Love Mondays?

As an employer, you’re aware that happy employees constitute a productive workforce.

It’s important to understand that attracting candidates to your job vacancies through effective job adverts is one thing, and sustaining a reasonable level of employee retention is another paramount role.

So what are some of the best ways to ensure a high level of staff retention? Do you have what it takes to motivate your staff and keep them happy? Below are a few best ways to ensure that:

  1. Career Progression

Career advancement is either an essential or very crucial affair as far as working life is concerned. As an employer, you should never overlook the idea of encouraging your staff to progress in their career. This can be done through employee training or providing them with the opportunities to advance their career. So, rather than rapid monetary gain, your staff would also appreciate your ability to demonstrate the need for their career progression.

  1. Job Security

Show me one person who has never had worries about their job security and I’ll show you a person who has never been employed to earn their living. Such worries are very strong and can affect your staff’s productivity. Ensure that clear and achievable objectives and goals are set, alongside other practical ways of showing that your employees are valued in your organization. That way, you’ll be contributing to their happiness and feelings of job security positively.

  1. Good Communication

Whilst high level communication is easily overlooked by any business, the amount of weight placed on it may be of surprise to many. In fact, many employees rank it above starting salary. Wherever, and whenever, there is good flow of communication between staff and senior management, there’s always a noticeable impact on the happiness levels of both parties.

  1. Social Aspect

Imagine having to work with someone you don’t get along with so well. This can mean starting your working day on a low or dread. The morale of most workers is significantly affected by the people they work with. It’s true that some jobs are individual in nature while others require minimal interaction between staff. However, having the right mix of personalities in the workplace, as well as maintaining a reasonable company culture, will most often translate to high levels of happiness and satisfaction among the co-workers.

  1. Recognition

How often do you recognize your staff for a job well done? Recognition is equally vital and essential to your staffs’ happiness at work, similar to their contribution to the business.

So, what else can bring workers happiness at work-places?

Talk of salaries and wages, financial incentives and benefits, working hours, length of commute. From researchers, only a small percentage of workers rank these among the top five factors that may boost their morale at work. Job security, career progression and a healthy work-life balance seem to outscore all other factors.

Reasons Why Companies Outsource Their Payroll

Do you find in-house management of human resources, accounting, payroll and other financial obligations a walk in the park? If YES, then you’re an alien living on planet earth. The activities mentioned hereinbefore are proven to be highly complex and time consuming, especially if you intend to complete them simultaneously. Many businesses are still stuck with their in-house solutions to these tasks, and they’re unable to realize the risks involved beforehand. These routine administrative activities eventually get intricate, and will drain them of their productive time.

Payroll, human resources and accounting functions are among the most commonly outsourced functions in many organizations. They’re non-core functions, since they are not a profit centre and don’t differentiate a business from its competitors.

Most businesses don’t leverage the power of outsourced payroll service providers because they probably don’t have clear reasons why they ought to go for it. For that reason, we’ve compiled the top 5 reasons why you need to outsource your payroll.

  1. Complex calculations and rules

It has become highly challenging to process employees’ salaries and reimbursements with top accuracy. This is due to a number of factors such as tax computations, employee benefit programs, high employees’ turnover, many rules and by-laws to consider, etc. Your employees also expect that you confidently and clearly answer all the queries regarding their payroll.

You could be able to do all this in-house. However, how sure will you be that everything has been taken care of the right way? Is there top notch accuracy in your computations? Are you in a strong position to do an error-free audit of your payroll processing?

  1. Better and Efficient reporting

Whether you process your payroll in-house or with an outsourced payroll processing company, there are some common comprehensive reports that you can’t overlook. It may not be possible to generate such reports with your in-house software solutions. Moreover, it may not be fast enough for your IT team to figure out and develop payroll software to cater for your needs. So the lender of last resort would be payroll processing companies, who provide a wide array of the reports you require.

  1. Access to Payroll Experts

Payroll processing firms employ experts who can confidently answer all your employees’ queries regarding payroll. Therefore, your employees will have a single point of direct contact.

Payroll outsourcing companies go an extra mile of even coming to your office and conduct training whenever there are crucial changes in the payroll computation process.  The payroll experts also conduct one-on-one consulting sessions with the management.

  1. Cost savings

Wondering how you can enjoy cost savings with outsourcing your monthly payroll processing task? May be you’ll think of outsourcing your payroll because of the hassle it proves to be.  At a glance, you might not realize the cost saving benefits you’ll enjoy in the long term. However, you actually save on the personnel that you employ or deploy to take care of the payroll preparation.

  1. Professional payroll processing services

Outsourced payroll processing companies offer payroll administration services at all levels – from basic to complex. They employ high level professionalism when it comes to maintaining individual payroll files and doing timely computation of all the salary and reimbursements. Employees are also served with printed or electronic paycheck advices, and other documentations, with great ease.

Additionally, payroll service providers also generate the annual income statements for each employee. These statements are usually required for tax related purposes. As required, the documentation is done timely, professionally and with full confidentiality. With such professional services, employers can focus on their core business and other HR processes.


Now you know that payroll outsourcing is capable of saving you from all the hassle of changing rules, and/or doing individual payroll calculations. It also shifts, from you, the weight of being the single point of contact for your employees’ day-to-day queries regarding their payroll. You are also confident of getting comprehensive monthly/annual reports and direct access to the experts in payroll. It will not only save you time and energy, but also money in the long term.

So going forward, you’ll have an enhanced peace of mind and more productive time to focus on the core business.

Thousands of companies have already been convinced to switch to an outsourced payroll processing solution. So you’re waiting for? Make up your mind and get started today!

AMSOL offers improved, hassle free, professional, one-stop shop for payroll processing, as well as HR management outsourcing in Africa and beyond.

Human Resource Outsourcing

HR outsourcing (HRO) is simply the allotment of some or all the human resources functions to a more specialized third party service provider through subcontracting. In the event that human resources are outsourced to another country, it’s known as HR offshoring.

Appraisals of business processes have led many business organizations to decide that it makes business sense to outsource some or all non-core tasks to specialist service providers.

In most businesses, the Human Resource department is a non-profit center, hence a non-core department. This puts it in the front line for outsourcing.

There are several arrangements in which outsourcing for human resources can be done:

  • Business process HR outsourcing (BPO) – An external expert service provider administers distinct HR functions, such as recruitment or payroll administration, or maybe takes over the entire human resources department.
  • Shared service HR outsourcing – This is done by outsourcing only the transaction or administrative elements of your HR function to an external supplier. Personal interface with employees might also be included in this outsourcing.
  • Application (and facilities) service HR outsourcing – This is done when outsourced service provider seeks after both the physical and technological HR infrastructure to brace the human resources activities.

The activity of any HR outsourcing arrangement ought to be overseen by a service level agreement. This will outline the required standards of performance by both the outsourcing and outsourced parties, and any fines for defaulters. A service level agreement is a very important document that must be negotiated carefully to alleviate any of the potential setbacks.

Human resource management plays a vital role in conveying organizational performance. Therefore, the resolution to outsource human resources should therefore not be overlooked. There are various circumstances under which outsourcing HR functions can deliver substantial advantages to the organization. For instance, by releasing HR experts to dedicate more time to a vital organizational role could go a long way in supporting business performance.

Potential benefits of HR outsourcing

  • Reduced operating cost
  • Less risk involved
  • Management will have more time to focus on the specific goals of the organization
  • Due to specialization in the field, the service provider has improved HR IT systems
  • Improved management, information is readily available online
  • Can easily access experts who are not available internally
  • Improved flexibility and speedy response
  • To free HR resources hence operating more tactically

Potential pitfalls of HR outsourcing

  • The HR outsourcing provider’s solution might not be the most suitable for your organization’s needs. So you need proper understanding of your HR needs, way before you engage an outsourcing firm.
  • Outsourced providers may miss out on the knowledge about the company and employees’ culture that’s already in place. In an event of a bad culture, it would have a negative ripple effect on the performance of most internal employees.
  • Businesses keep changing with time. HR outsourcing arrangements, being long term (5-10 years), may not put into consideration the business future strategies. Changing businesses in these forms of contracts may be complex. Understanding company future profile is good as it helps to avoid entering into hostile contractual arrangements.
  • Local knowledge and processes are lost since information resides with the outsourcing service provider.