When you hire someone new, it can be difficult to know how things will work out. Some employees are fabulous – hardworking, smart and get along well with your team. Others, not so much all the time. Maybe they aren’t so great at following rules and directions, or they don’t mesh well with your other employees.

As a business owner, it’s important that you know how to deal with difficult employees while also protecting yourself and your business. Here are some tips to bring into your next employee situation:

Write down everything

It’s so important to make sure that you get documentation of problems you have with an employee and how you deal with it. Keep all emails or texts and write down key points from any conversations that you have with them about the issues. Document all incidents and if the issues persist. Even if you think the problem will be solved with a simple talk, having everything documented will be extremely helpful if things don’t get resolved or escalate.

Go back to your company policies

When you started your business, you probably made policies and specific processes to help in instances like this. If you’re having an issue with an employee, lean on those policies. You can always kindly remind your employee of the agreement that they made upon getting hired. If things continue and you think disciplinary action may need to be taken, be sure to follow your stated processes carefully to protect your company.

Offer clear and constructive feedback

It can be easy to talk about what an employee is doing wrong, but a good leader is able to help employees correct their behavior. Help them understand what to do differently and how they can improve.

Keep it professional

Difficult employees can be frustrating to deal with. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by bad behavior, but it’s important to keep your own actions professional. Try to look at the situation calmly and objectively so that you can best understand what is going on and how to resolve it. Don’t talk about the issue with anyone who doesn’t need to be involved. Talking about employees with other employees is one of the quickest ways to escalate the situation.

Don’t let a situation with a difficult employee have a negative impact on your business. If the situation persists, seek legal advice to ensure that you are keeping your company safe.