Ways to Help You Manage Problem Employees (Part I)

It can happen to any team manager:  you’re a great leader, and you’re known for your great leadership skills and ability to train almost anyone. But every once in a while, an employee is placed under your wing who ends up being difficult to deal with, causing you grief and anxiety that other people may not see.

How an employee acts doesn’t necessarily reflect how you are as a leader. Sometimes an employee might just not be the right fit, or their flaws happened to slide by the recruiting and hiring manager without being noticed.

But one thing that does reflect your leadership skills is your ability to manage problematic employees—that is, how you react to them and their problems.

To help you, we’re going to talk about a few things you can do to help you manage those difficult employees. For today, we’ll start with just a few of the many different “problem” employees you may run across. Take a look below:

Figuring out what kind of employee they are

First things first, what kind of employee are they?

Problem employees come in many shapes and sizes, so there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to managing them. As such, it is important to make sure you approach them with a proper understanding of exactly what they do wrong. This will ensure that you are able to target the trouble spots, rather than wasting your time going back and forth on how to deal with the problem.

Here are just a few types of employees you may have trouble with:

  • The procrastinator. These are the employees who say, “I do better under pressure, which is why I hold off until the last minute.” Sure, they get things done, but their lack of proper time management can drive you and your team crazy.

    The solution: With these types, it is best to focus on getting them on a much more rigid schedule. This allows you buffer time on deadlines in the event that they choose to still hold off.

  • The hot shot. The “I know I’m good at what I do and I am above the rest.” We are all for employees acknowledging their work, but it is those who rub it in and make others feel inadequate that can cause problems.

    The solution: Focus on explaining to these types that collaboration and teamwork is an essential part of what they do. Sure, they do a great job, but they have to realize that they need others in order to succeed.

Check back tomorrow when we finish off our list of different problem employees.