How to deal with a difficult employer

Every now and then, you may come across a project holder who's difficult to deal with. Patience and communication are the keys.
Feb 23, 2020 • 5 minute read
Valentina R. @ValentinaSuccess
Technical Co-pilot
Cover photo for How to deal with a difficult employer

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Most of us have had a difficult employer. Here's how to deal with them constructively

Sometimes when performing work for users as freelancers we might find ourselves dealing with a person who is very different than us. We can face difficulties understanding them and it may seem impossible to find a middle ground. Let’s keep in mind all users are people, some of them might be facing hardships in real life or might be confused as to what they want. So first things first: patience!

In this short article, we'll give you several scenarios of difficult employers and how to deal with them. We hope this can be helpful for you!

“My employer doesn’t understand the work I perform and asks for changes that are impossible/I have already done”

First off, to avoid this issue from happening make sure to clarify the requirements and scope of work from the get-go.

Some employers don't actually have technical knowledge of what they are requesting and might become defensive when reviewing the work due to this. To deal with these users you should explain to them how the work you performed meets their requirement with a document or step-by-step guide, kind of like a little tutorial. Also, we can offer them the assistance of the Technical Co-Pilots on site who can provide them with the help they need in understanding the work performed.

When first starting work with a new employer, make sure to explain to him your process of work and the steps you will take to perform their project, plus the expected outcome with the information you were provided. This way you can make sure you are both on the same page.

“My employer asks for changes that are out of the original scope with no intention to pay for them”

If you have found yourself providing the final product to the employer and being requested to correct or perform extra steps that were not in the original agreement then it is understandable you might get frustrated. However, don’t fight fire with fire. Explain in a neutral and calm manner that the required work being asked of you is extra and does not fall in the initial agreement, try to meet halfway with the user. This means that you can try to find a point where you both feel comfortable. For example, agreeing on a price for the extra work that is good for both of you, not too expensive for the employer if they don’t have a large budget but also a price that is worth your work.

In the case that you can’t reach an agreement with this employer for the extra work you can always access our Dispute System, but here at Freelancer.com we always strive to resolve matters without the need of initiating a Dispute. In the case that there was not a milestone created or the already existing milestones have been released, kindly contact success@freelancer.com so you can receive help.

“My employer is unresponsive”

If your employer hasn’t logged in for a long time now and you already finished their project, contact the Support Staff or the Success agents (success@freelancer.com)

We will help you and try our best to contact the employer in order for them to come back on site and review the work delivered.

In the case of there being a milestone in place, you have finished work and the employer doesn’t seem to be coming back then they might be dealing with personal issues. Another option is to dispute the milestones on the grounds of “Unresponsiveness” if the employer has been offline for months with no sign of coming back.

“My employer provides few details as to what they need”

There might be the point in your freelancing career in which you might find yourself chatting after award with an employer, and finding out that they actually are not providing the information that is needed to accomplish what they want.

It may seem that they are deliberately withholding information but always be patient - most likely they don’t understand exactly what you need to know, because they are not technical themselves.

Try to explain to them what information you need and exactly what you will do with it, also help them find this information if they express that they don’t know how to provide it.

“My employer speaks to me in a way that is very rude”

When handling an employer that speaks to you in a way you deem rude always try to keep in mind where they are from: Are they from a place that might be serious in their way of speaking, can they come from a blunt culture? Perhaps what seems rude to you is entirely normal and even polite to someone else.

We always recommend communicating and expressing your opinion - in a respectful way. You can kindly ask the user if they can lighten their tone with you, or you can explain to them why their communication feels rude. Most people do not want the world around them to feel bad so they will do anything in their power to make you feel comfortable, especially if you’re working together. If you have been having differences and project completion issues that are being affected by the communication between you, contact success@freelancer.com and we will try our best to conciliate both parts and reach a safe ground. Nonetheless, you are always entitled to ask for professional communication.

However if the user you’re working with is communicating in a way that is abusive or derogatory to a specific race, culture or country, kindly contact the Support Staff or a Success Manager immediately and keep your distance until you feel safe in the situation.

“My employer is a rookie and is very frustrated because he doesn't understand the site”

Some employers are new on site and have difficulties understanding the Milestone Payment System, the Award System, how to perform projects on site and/or Verify their Identity.

We have a great FAQ page you can always forward them with the most helpful links regarding our system

How To Get Started:

https://www.freelancer.com/support/employer/General/how-to-get-started-at-freelancer-com

Milestone Payment System:

https://www.freelancer.com/support/employer/Payments/milestone-payment-for-employers-2228

About KYC:

https://www.freelancer.com/support/employer/Profile/what-is-required-to-become-verified

You can also help them by explaining the basics of the site, and this way gain their trust and a potential ongoing client. Also, you can just contact us! Success@freelancer.com and we’ll make sure your employer understands everything they need to perform their project with us.

With these tips we are sure you will be able to manage difficult clients, just remember: Patience and good communication go a long way!

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Abonnieren Sie unseren Newsletter, um über wichtige Themen auf dem Laufenden zu bleiben.
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