How to Handle a Problematic Employee

If you’ve been in the Martial Arts business for some time now, you may already have the experience of having a difficult employee. Most managers or masters just let the problem slide until that certain team member makes a devastating mistake, but why wait until that happens? My guesses are, bosses think that small problems in tardiness and lack of drive aren’t that too big a deal. But what we need to realize is that being late or not meeting deadlines cuts productivity and paints a bad picture for your school and your other staff members.


I’m not saying that you need to automatically fire people who act this way. Our mission is to correct the problem and not vent anger or frustration. Before you talk to your staff member, you must be prepared. Here is how to handle a problematic employee.

1. Ask the whole team and get feedback from students and parents. You must acquire all of the information that you can so when you talk to your problematic employee, both of you will be convinced that there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

2.  Make an outline of the things that you need to say. Organize your thoughts before sitting down , this will make sure you won’t forget anything important.

3. Choose a private room with not too much distraction. Make sure that it’s quiet and you won’t be disturbed.

4. You’re not there just to talk about what’s wrong with his performance. Make him understand that his behavior is affecting your business.

5. You can ask your employee on the appropriate actions that he needs to do to fix the problem. If the answer comes from the employee, then there is a bigger chance that he will comply.

6. Write all the steps that need to be taken, a time frame, and his agreement to comply.

7. Tell the consequences if he fails to accomplish the goals that are set. But you also need to cheer him on and say that you believe that he is capable of improving.

8. After the 1 on 1 meeting, document everything, save it, set up some future dates for follow ups.

If you want to make sure that your school succeeds, don’t allow detrimental behavior to thrive in the workplace. It’s like a disease that spreads if you permit it. If you see it, deal with the problem as soon as you can.

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