How to Deal with Certain Employee ‘Types’


Every office has them: the ultra competitive employee, the one prone to hissy fits, the lazy employee, the one who raids the fridge for their colleagues’ lunch, the list goes on! Unfortunately, at the interview process, we cannot foresee how a candidate will act once they are hired, and instead we are left trying to deal with some of the trickiest types of employees.  

Here are some of the most common employee ‘types’ we wish we could avoid, and how to handle them…

The Exaggerator

One of the most annoying of employees, the exaggerator tends to hype up everything they have done and achieved, yet the reality behind their exaggerations is less than impressive. If your employee insists on exaggerating their performance, give them specific results that must be achieved – this will enable you to measure their true performance.

The Competitor

Competitiveness is great, but not when it’s to the detriment of your team environment and overall productivity of a department. A competitive employee will only concern themselves with their own successes and will mow those down who stand in his way. To deal with a competitive employee, set them group or team targets to achieve with incentives that benefit them as a team.

The Unsure

This type of employee will ponder for hours about tasks, even those tasks that may take others a few minutes to complete. They will question every aspect of what they are doing and waste valuable time procrastinating. Put a stop to time wasting by setting real deadlines and targets.

The Debater

We love an employee who is not afraid to stand out, and we particularly value employees who stand up for their opinion, but a ‘debater’ is one that will take it too far. They will question and argue against everything that is said to them out of principle. Set the boundaries with these employees by leaving certain tasks up for discussion and others as non-negotiable.

The Drama-Queen

This employee loves attention, and loves to cause drama even more. The slightest thing can set them off and as such, colleagues are left walking on eggshells. To handle this type of employee, boundaries are essential. You must establish rules and clearly specify behavior that is not tolerable.

The Deifier

One of the most obstructive of employees is the deifier. This employee will go against the rules and standard procedures in an effort to show they cannot be controlled or restricted as a person. Thriving on negativity, they want to create a reputation for themselves as someone who is not scared to stand up to authority. Try to channel the employee’s negative energy into something productive for the company; give him authority of his own and see how he gets on.

The Idle

Idle employees make any excuse to avoid doing work. They will claim surfing the net or talking on social profiles is beneficial for the company, while really they are skiving. Set idle employees clear targets to achieve within specified timeframes. This will help you to calculate their performance and keep track of their workload.

As a manager, you must be able to handle different types of employees and their characteristics in a professional and appropriate way. Through clear communication, setting of deadlines and targets, and regular employee evaluation meetings, you can ensure your office is a productive and happy one.