John had a great team, but one employee in particular just had a bad attitude. This was an employee John inherited when he became manager. This employee was always negative, did not act as part of a team, and was arrogant in everyway. John talked to this employee to try and inspire and encourage (including documenting this verbal warning), but after a short period of time, the employee fell back into their usual ways.
Only a few weeks after John spoke to the employee, a loud disagreement between this employee and another happened on the main floor. It was loud enough to have people stop in their tracks wondering what was happening. John immediately went to the floor, and calmly asked each employee to stop by his office. He talked to them about how conflict in the workplace is unacceptable, gave a verbal warning for one of the employees, and a written warning to the employee with the bad attitude stating that if this behavior continues, suspension and/or termination would be the next step taken. These warnings were done separately as not to embarrass each employee.
It was a bit of a shock to the employee with a bad attitude that a written warning was given, however, John made it perfectly known that this was not the first time they met because of this team-affecting behavior. John also was not quite as caring as he was at the first meeting. He took out the notes from the last meeting and went over what was discussed, including that a written warning would be given if the behavior continued. With this documentation, the employee had no choice but to accept the written warning.
That put a scare into the employee, who from that point on had no more attitude issues. The employee’s personality and character stayed the same, but there were no more negative comments or further disruptions.
Epilogue: When you have an employee who is disruptive in any way, they need to be dealt with before it becomes habit forming. Don’t wait until the bad apple has spoiled the lot. Talk to them right away. State that their disruptive behavior is disrupting harmony in your department. If this did not work, the employee will most likely disrupt the harmony again, however, this time you can give a written warning with more of a stern approach. Warnings of possible suspension or termination are usually quite effective.