Handling Troublemakers

Handling Troublemakers

Learning how to deal with difficult employees is vital for the survival of your department and business.

Every organisation has its bad apples. As a leader, you must be able to recognise different types of difficult employees and learn how to best manage them.


TRAITS Resistant to change, disorganised, lack credibility, passive

IMPACT He tanks productivity and the energy of those around him. He’s mostly unreliable, incompetent, erratic and tends to take everyone down with him.

HOW TO MANAGE Provide more training and support, draw up improvement plans, direct for counselling if necessary as personal problems may be impacting his work.


TRAITS Poor time management, unmotivated, whiny, always on sick leave

IMPACT He brings down team spirit and doesn’t feel guilty about making others pick up his slack. He will also always have an excuse to avoid responsibility.

HOW TO MANAGE Have a chat with him about his goals as he can be a good worker when pushed in the right direction, list expectations clearly, demand accountability, provide recognition and rewards for effort.


TRAITS Doesn’t recognise his limits, critical, comes to work despite being sick, undermines everyone else’s confi dence

IMPACT Hardworking but insist on doing everything on his own so everyone will know his sacrifices for the job. He can also cause unrest among team members.

HOW TO MANAGE Enforce the need to delegate, encourage paid time off , introduce stress management measures and incentives based on team work instead of individual input.


TRAITS Distracting, loud, immature and/or unprofessional approach to work, lacks focus, encourages office drama.

IMPACT The life of the offi ce who everyone loves being around, this natural entertainer is often the source of office gossip. He will also often indulge in idle chat, and take long lunches and coffee breaks, impacting productivity levels.

HOW TO MANAGE Provide regular redirection, set clear leisure and serious work times, harness and channel the fun energy positively to elevate productivity.


TRAITS A bully, egotistical, devoid of respect for protocol, problems with authority, poor communication and people skills, manipulative, disruptive.

IMPACT He usually leaves the office morale in discord, creating a hostile work environment. When put in a frontline position, there will be a loss of clients and when put in a position of power, there will be a loss of good workers.

HOW TO MANAGE Take other employees’ complaints seriously and document them, enforce strict anti-bullying policies in the office.

Source: getvoip.com; www.forbes.com; www.psychologicalscience.org; www.inc.com

Written by : shafiqfarhan