Your human. Confrontation isn't nice. Telling someone you don't like their behaviour is hard to do.

Anyone manager who tells you they have no problems confronting employees is either: A. Lying...or B. A Psychopath who enjoys hurting others.

But it's one of those necessary jobs to drive a business and effectively manage others. So why is it so hard for most of us managers to do? Why do we put it off, and what can we do to make this job more manageable in our minds? GOOD EMPLOYEES WANT IT.

So firstly, to change your perspective on confrontation, cast your mind back to when you were an employee. What type of manager did you respect and admire more? Managers that stuck their head in the sand, never pushed you or gave you honest feedback or those that pulled you up when you needed it?

Given you are in management or a business owner now, chances are you had a heap of managers along the way who overcame the "not-nice" feeling of confrontation and gave you a kick or two as needed to help you reach your potential.

That's the thing, the excellent employees you want to keep in the business will appreciate and grow out of you confronting them, even if they don't see it at the time. The employees you don't want in your business are the ones who will take it poorly, and, to be honest, you don't want them around anyway. Remember, great employees, love feedback as they want to grow and learn.

Give it to them, both good and bad.

Face It. 

We've all had these thoughts: "I should talk to Steve about his poor performance, but it's Friday afternoon, and I don't want to ruin his weekend, and it's already been a big week for me". Make confronting employees on issues normal. Make it a habit. Whenever you realise confronting an employee needs to happen, don't put it off for a sunny day. Stop, reflect on how best to deliver to make it an empowering and positive conversation for the employee and then act. If you sit on a challenging conversation, your issue will brew inside you like a volcano until you snap and deliver poorly. Confronting employees is like a band-aide, don't pull it off painfully hair by hair. If it needs to be said, do it immediately without fail.


Fear of confronting staff is often the result of how to handle any comebacks. However, some organisational tricks can help overcome this so you can confidently address issues. Firstly, keep detailed notes of meetings, conversations and tasks assigned to employees. Email confirmation immediately following any chat with the employee is an excellent way to do this. Then, when it comes time to chat, review all your records and calmly work out a plan of attack to ensure the facts are clear and cannot be pushed back on.

The biggest key is not feeling bad about confronting employees regarding issues. It's a good thing, trust me.

Food for thought...


Simon Ingleson

CEO/Founder @ RosterElf

Magically Simple Rostering Software

Have Questions?

We Have The Answers!

Why is confronting employees about their behaviour important for managers?

Confronting employees is crucial for driving business success and managing effectively. It helps employees grow, receive honest feedback, and understand expectations. Good employees appreciate feedback and use it to improve, benefiting both themselves and the company.

What mindset should managers adopt to make confrontation easier?

Managers should recall the type of managers they respected. Those who provided honest feedback and addressed issues directly were likely more admired. This perspective helps managers see confrontation as a positive and necessary part of growth.

How can managers prepare for a confrontation with an employee?

Managers should keep detailed notes of meetings, tasks, and conversations. Reviewing these records helps ensure facts are clear and can’t be disputed. This preparation builds confidence and allows for a calm, constructive conversation.

What should managers do when they realise a confrontation is needed?

Managers should address the issue immediately rather than delaying. They should reflect on how to deliver the feedback positively and empoweringly. Avoid letting the issue fester, which can lead to a poorly handled confrontation.

How should managers handle the fear of employee comebacks during confrontations?

By being well-prepared with documented evidence and a clear plan. This preparation helps managers feel more confident and ensures the conversation stays fact-based, reducing the likelihood of effective pushback from employees.

Important Notice

The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on RosterElf's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice.

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