The Challenges Leaders Face, and How to Spot Them
Having written about bad managers, I feel it is my duty to also report on the flip side, namely the bad employee. These are the nightmares of management and HR and usually just as difficult to get rid of as a bad boss. Having been in management for almost ten years has showed me a wide variety of the different kinds of bad employees, and here they are:
1. Mr./Mrs. Jekyll and Hyde
These are the people who are overly friendly on the outside. The ones who tend to have a huge, fake smile on their face, while almost hugging you when telling you “HELLO!” Of course, this is until you turn around. Then the dagger stares come out and the commentary starts. There are just as inauthentic as the huge smile they are sporting. They tend to be loyal to only one thing and that is their own interests. Don’t dare to make it on their “bad” side, as they will go out of their way to make your life miserable. They also tend to complain a lot about room temperature and noise levels, or get super sensitive about the same stuff they do all the time. Their second name is “hypocrite!”
2. The Busy Body/Gossip
These are the ones who focus on everything but their own job. Eager to give you “advice” and monitoring your every move, those are the types that feel their opinion is not only wanted, but asked for and absolutely necessary for the success of the business. They tend to consistently overstep boundaries and make rude, racial or otherwise inappropriate remarks and can’t wait for another sad victim to feed them with any type of confidential information; which they will promptly distort and spread all over the floor.
3. The Delusional Type
Oh, what fun it is to share metrics with that type! Because nothing is ever their fault, things were always out of their control, or they simply didn’t do it. You present them with numbers; they claim the system was reporting them wrong or that the system was down. You tell them about situations you have observed and they’ll look you straight in the eye, claiming that you saw it wrong, or that it was a one-time thing that never happened before. Either way, you (the manager) are the one who has the wrong perception and you only have it out for them; or you are discriminating against them…
4. The Drama King/Queen
These are the ones who stand out with passive-aggressive and completely unprofessional behavior, which includes rolling their eyes, making comments under their breath, throwing arms up in the air and fists on the table. The bigger the audience, the better the show. Anything to get that attention. Sometimes, but rarely, their behavior can be less dramatic. My personal favorite used to do yoga in meetings, read magazines or fall asleep! You can’t approach them, because they’re also delusional and of course, it wasn’t their fault and they feel justified behaving like complete jerks in the office. When you “threaten” them with a write up, they run to HR and claim you are treating them unfairly or you are too harsh.
5. The Eternal Victim (Also Known as Master of Excuses)
As we know, I already love this type outside of the office, but to manage them is even more of a nightmare. Of course, just like the other star employees mentioned above, they really shine when it comes to not taking responsibility for anything, blaming everyone else and having zero accountability. Everyone is out to get them and they cannot succeed, no matter how hard they are trying. When you have to discipline them for lack of performance or anything else, for that matter, they will either get defensive or start crying, and then they usually promise you to get better. This promise lasts for about two minutes. They are like a virus, and instead of doing their job or “getting better” they tend to bring the entire team down with their negative and bad attitude.
6. Debbie/David Downer
The company sucks, the managers suck, the benefits suck, their job sucks and, over all, they really don’t want to be here. However, they’re here because they need a paycheck and said crappy benefits. Instead of doing their job and maybe improving their environment, they do as little as possible, and spend the rest of the time complaining to everyone, co-workers, HR, managers and Facebook. Trying to coach them or giving them a better perspective has the same effect as sharing your feedback with the parking meter.
7. The Gamer
These are truly my favorites, because these are the only type that I can immediately fire. I’m talking about people who game the system; people who fake their timesheets or steal from the company. The “lesser” gamer is the one who waits until one sick occurrence falls off the calendar, and then immediately goes and takes another sick day. They are technically always playing by the rules, but actually doing just the absolute smallest amount to get by; but usually wonder the loudest when they don’t get the promotion or raise they feel they deserve. When you’re making them aware of their patterns, they claim that the patterns are a coincidence… a coincidence that has been going on for a year or more!