Different Types of Problem Employees
Troublesome employees can have far-reaching negative repercussions for any company, from draining energy and attention from other employees, to financial loss and reduced productivity.
Difficult employees may be difficult to spot due to their overt or covertly negative behaviors. Here’s how you can recognize different kinds of problem employees:
1. The Resistor
Resistors – devices which “merely” oppose the flow of electric current – are an indispensable component to any electronic circuit board, just as resistors are essential to business productivity. Similarily, difficult employees can have a tremendous effect on workplace productivity even if they’re not your top staff members; dealing with this issue quickly and effectively may incur heavy expenses.
One of the greatest challenges employers encounter is managing an employee who refuses to change how they do their job. This type of worker tends to resist new software, equipment or procedures being introduced; believing their approach is superior and unwilling to consider other viewpoints.
This employee isn’t cooperating well, frequently complaining about issues not within their control and detracting from overall team morale in the workplace. These complaints must be dealt with quickly to protect the wellbeing of everyone at work.
Employees who consistently complain must be addressed quickly by their manager. A good leader will promote an environment where employees feel encouraged to share feedback from all sources; then address each employee’s individual needs by helping to find solutions which meet everyone’s requirements.
Problematic employees waste valuable time and resources. Their inability to concentrate on their jobs often results in missed deadlines or failed performance expectations; as a result, these employees should be moved into roles more suited to their skillset.
Interviewers typically ask supervisory candidates how they’ve dealt with an unpleasant employee during an interview, which serves as an indicator of their diplomatic skills and effective management style. Their response also serves as a measure of whether or not they understand what constitutes a problem employee and how best to address their needs; some require heavy intervention while others may need less interaction, though managers must always set clear expectations when managing an employee causing difficulties.
2. The Undecider
Problem employees don’t just disrupt your workplace and energy levels; they can be financially draining as well. According to research conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, such individuals cost businesses as much as $8,000 in productivity losses each day due to low morale and teamwork skills. Addressing employee issues promptly can save money, improve workplace morale and ensure staff is focused on meeting business goals.
Under-performers are relatively straightforward to identify as problem employees, since it’s usually obvious when they fail to meet expectations. But their root cause can often be harder to pin down – some under-performing employees could be showing symptoms due to personal stress while others simply might not be up for the job due to poor training or repetitive tasks.
Some problem employees are known for constantly complaining about how they do their jobs, often to no avail. Although often hardworking, this employee type often obsesses over minor details that are less productive and eventually lead to workplace frustration. Others may be resistant to constructive criticism from supervisors or opt not to listen to managers; often this behavior stems from not feeling comfortable receiving feedback or coaching and acting out against it by creating excuses and portraying themselves as victims instead.
When confronting an employee who’s creating problems for themselves and your organization, it is essential to remain calm and remain focused on the issue at hand. Try to ascertain what might be behind their behaviour: fear of change, workload burden or feeling alienated by teammates – whatever it may be it’s important that the root cause is identified so the employee understands that their behaviour is hurting both themselves and your business as a whole.
Some difficult employees can be managed through positive reinforcement and consistent mentoring from managers, but if the situation persists it might be necessary to implement disciplinary procedures. It would not be worth risking team morale over an employee who refuses to change.
3. The Two-Faced
As a manager, it’s likely you will come across difficult employees at some point during your career. Not only can they be irritating, but their financial drain can be severe as well – leading to lost productivity, reduced morale and missed deadlines. Therefore it is crucial that early identification occurs so corrective actions can be taken swiftly to mitigate their negative impacts.
An employee with a poor attitude can cause irreparable harm to any small company. They fail to follow directions, are difficult to work with coworkers and customers, and become an interruption for more productive staff members. Instead of working productively they often waste time on personal matters, divert colleagues’ attention with offensive jokes, take long lunches or otherwise decrease productivity. Furthermore, these new hires often lack maturity, skills or training needed to take on such challenging roles, necessitating extra coaching and guidance during onboarding and onboarding processes.
Employees that exhibit challenging traits may be difficult to spot; often they display positive qualities that disguise their true nature, such as repeatedly complaining. An employee who complains constantly may actually have an amusing sense of humor; to help these employees thrive as team contributors it’s best to provide an open environment and support system so they can become self-reliant contributors.
Another frequent employee problem is a critic. These workers don’t seem to find anything positive in any project they take part in, and are quick to point out any mistakes or glitches they detect – whether real or perceived. Their constant criticism can become tiresome for other workers and undermine morale and teamwork; often this critic employee feels justified by sharing their expertise and negativity with everyone around them.
An effective business relies on cooperation among its team members in order to meet demanding targets, so any employee whose behavior threatens this is an immediate cause of concern. One type of employee whose conduct undermines this dynamic can be more obvious than others: under-performers who fail to check off boxes on lists or complete projects on time can also pose problems, often due to feeling undervalued, stress or monotony.
4. The Invisible Man
Deliberate workplace chaos requires an employee of special distinction: the Bully. These employees often exhibit aggressive, vindictive or even violent tendencies; turning people against one another without regard for how their negative actions might cause pain to other colleagues. Their worst traits include lack of motivation, absences from shifts and never clocking in at their appropriate times.
Such employees tend to focus more on taking other employees’ ideas and crediting them as their own, which causes significant harm to the team. Furthermore, these toxic employees have become known for creating workplace conflicts without anyone being able to pinpoint them back to them; many coworkers may like them but they represent an enormous liability to any business.
The “Invisible Man,” as its name implies, is an employee no business owner wants on board. Though this type of employee often attempts to remain hidden, when given enough attention they are easy to spot. While their work might be beneficial at times, their influence often drains energy from other workers as well.
Ellison first wrote Invisible Man in 1950 to document the struggles of black Americans and remains newsworthy today. A magisterial work, it includes allusions to great works of literature while providing insights into complex psychology and painful social realities associated with being African-American in mid-20th century America. Ellison’s masterpiece is captivating yet mysterious; humorous yet saddening; entertaining yet brainy all at the same time – thus mandating reading it at modern high schools and colleges.
Consider the book’s central theme of identity and self-respect: the struggle between self-acceptance and pride in oneself. Consider how Invisible Man’s experiences in the South challenge his ideals of racial uplift through humility and hard work; compare his encounters with Dr. Bledsoe and Blueprint Peddler to those with Brer Rabbit’s nephew or Jim in Uncle Remus stories, what have these experiences taught Invisible Man about personal integrity?