Types of Difficult Employees
Here are a few of the types of employees that most new managers find particularly challenging. There are many others. Be on the outlook for them. Use the suggestions discussed here for confronting their unacceptable behavior.
The Attacker. This person always disagrees with what you say or with what other team members say. The Attacker tries to undermine you and block the efforts of the group or department from achieving its goals.
The Comic. This employee thinks her main job at work is to entertain others. Laughter in the workplace is great, but when done to excess it distracts from getting the job done.
The Deserter. This individual either mentally or physically leaves the team. The Deserter drops out and stops contributing or even performing at work.
The Limelight Seeker. This employee likes to take credit for the work done by others and goes around bragging about how crucial he is to the success of the organization.
The Moonlighter. This employee treats her regular job as secondary to some other interest. At one company with about 3,500 employees, a manager had trouble figuring out one of his employees, named Joy. From August to January, Joy was the busiest employee you could imagine. She was always on the telephone or her computer or holding meetings in the conference rooms. But from February through July, Joy sat around with nothing to do. Take a wild guess what Joy was up to. She ran the company’s football pool and made it her full-time job!
The Not-My-Jobber. Employees like this do nothing unless it’s in the job description. If you asked them to drop something at HR on the way to lunch, they will refuse. After all, where does it say that is one of their responsibilities or goals?
The Bleeding Heart. These employees feel they have given their lives for the company, received nothing in return, and want everyone to know it. The Bleeding Heart usually has no life or no enjoyable life outside of work.
The Complainer. This type likes to moan and complain about everything. It could be the workload, the other employees, the boss, the customer, the drive to work, the day of the week, the weather, and so on. Complainers are dangerous because their negativity easily spreads to others.
There are obviously many other types of challenging employees. As a manager, you need to expect all kinds of difficult behaviors and deal with them effectively as soon as possible.
Excerpted with permission from The First-Time Manager by Jim McCormick, copyright Loren B. Belker, Jim McCormick, and Gary S. Topchik.