Most supervisors must, at some time, face the issue of how best to deal with the problem employee. The authors surveyed managers in organizations with 50 or more employees in six Michigan counties to determine their attitudes toward problem employees. The survey identified seven main causes of employee problems: insufficient job skills, Jack of proper supervision, emotional immaturity, family problems, drug or alcohol abuse, inefficiency, and not using full potential. The results of the survey identify the problem employee as one who fails to be of assistance or who actually hampers the accomplishment of organizational goals.
The results also demonstrate that the handling of problem employees is affected or conditioned by the age and position of the manager and by the type and size of the organization, and that management of problem employees is generally left to the individual manager's discretion.