Your team is top notch, and indeed you have hand-picked the best people for their positions, but the bizarre personalities and behaviors that compelled you to hire these wacky workers in the first place often drive the rest of the staff bonkers. Here’s how to effectively manage your team.
Well you love them, and you hired them, so what can you do about them now? The key is understanding each individual…what makes them tick, what makes them explode, and how to diffuse any situation before you have a real problem on your hand. Like raising children, what works for one child does not work for another. Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at the people who make up your team.
THE LOUD MOUTH EMPLOYEE
For the most part, everybody likes the Loud Mouth. He is funny, engaging, has a way of telling stories to make normal everyday antics hilarious. He walks through the company with a cup of coffee, stopping to talk to each person along the way. Although he is enjoyed by most, he can also be a huge distraction and he wastes a lot of time. This isn’t intentional. He’s a consummate people person and just loves to interact. Usually he is the one who brings in the donuts, remembers birthdays, and is willing to pitch in for something that isn’t really his job. He also gets his feelings hurt easily.
When you see or sense that it’s time for him to reel it in, find a way to engage him in something productive. He’s really great in sales and you need him. His loud, sometimes overbearing personality is why you hired him…don’t try to tame him now. Bring him into your own office for a few minutes, let him talk for awhile, then praise him for the numbers last week and how he has helped in the company’s growth.
The Loud Mouth needs redirecting in a positive way, and if he is shown appreciation will get back to work to prove himself to you. Once he gets back on the phone he will be doing what he does best, talking, and his sales will remind you again why he is perfect for the job.
Wow, have you ever seen anybody so full of themselves? She will remind everybody all the time how good she is, how valuable she is, how much she knows, and how important she is. Really it is quite amazing that the company even existed before she was hired on. She does more work than anybody else, and she does it better and quicker. Her last few jobs, well they were sorry to see her go.
And on a personal note, her children are the smartest kids in school and are simply amazing! Eyes roll when she leaves the cubicle, but the interesting fact is that everything she says is true. She really is the best, the quickest, the smartest. Ironically, a couple of the places she left did fold without her there to handle the accounts. You hired her because she really is a force to be reckoned with…oh, but how to get her to tone it down, that is the problem that stands between you and effectively managing your team.
The best way to handle the Ego is to feed it. Yes, you are the best! We are so fortunate that you are on our team! You did an excellent job on that project! Perhaps you can help give some direction to Sally and Frank? The Ego can make us all crazy and the constant attitude can get really old, but typically this person lacks people skills and makes up for it by being the best at everything else. It really is a good idea to get the Ego her own office. It will make her feel important, and she will work work work to prove why she deserves it.
THE SLACKER ON THE TEAM
It’s not even intentional, but the Slacker works at his own pace. How can you effectively manage your team when one of them doesn’t pull their weight? The desk is a mess, he has a foam basketball and hoop attached to his door, seems to be in his own world. The rest of the team are clearly annoyed. Why should he get to skate out of work when everybody else is working so hard? Well the truth of the matter is that he is not working less, he is working differently. He didn’t come in until 9:30, but he stayed two hours late to get the job done.
Maybe he brought his work home again, or spent the weekend doing it. The 9-5 world does not exist for him, but he gets the work done in his own way. Maybe the other employees need to hear you when you tell him, “Hey, thanks for getting this done over the weekend. It looks great” so they understand that the job is still getting completed, albeit not while they are witnessing it. Slackers are difficult to deal with when they aren’t really slacking–they seldom toot their own horns– so sometimes you need to do their tooting.
She’s a fantastic Human Resource director and you wouldn’t trade her for the world, but would she like a piece of cheese to go with that whine? She knows her stuff, that’s for sure, but nothing is ever good enough. It’s too hot in here, it’s too cold, I’m sick of living in Baltimore, my job is too stressful, nobody turns their hours in on time, my hand is throbbing, the potluck sucked because there weren’t enough salads, the car is acting up, my hair is gray, my husband is going bald, and gas prices just went up again. Try to effectively manage your team with that in your ear all day!
Good grief, it’s tiring just listening to the Whiner. You can’t slap her (Oh but don’t we want to?) so sometimes the best remedy is to keep being positive. It won’t change her attitude, but eventually she’ll just shut up because she can’t suck you into the vortex of darkness that is her world. Smile and nod, and pray that eventually the Loud Mouth will come by and rescue you.
THE SNITCH, THE GOSSIP, THE BEAUTY QUEEN, THE ASS KISSER, THE SMOKER
These are lumped in one group because, well…. this blog is getting way too long isn’t it? The Snitch blames everybody for everything and is quick to have his finger pointed out. Usually the Snitch is looking for his niche… just hasn’t found it yet, so wants to be remembered for something. Work on simply thanking, acknowledging, and carrying on. The Snitch can waste way too much of your time. The Gossip is the most dangerous person on your team.
Do whatever is necessary to stop this behavior before too much damage is done. If necessary show the Gossip the door…you can’t afford the pettiness, the time wasting, and the low morale. The Beauty Queen… if she is a good employee in all other regards, maybe best to overlook it unless it becomes too much of a distraction with the rest of your staff.
The smell of nail polish coming from her cubicle, constant makeup fixes…annoying, but if she was hired for her hard work ethics and does a great job for you it’s not worth the hassle. Besides, if she looked that good when she came in you already knew that her appearance was a high priority to her. This makes it quite difficult to effectively manage your team.
Hard to Handle Employees
The Ass Kisser… yes sir, yes ma’am, no thank you, oh I will do that for you, right away, that’s an excellent idea! This person needs to be groomed and he/she is just trying to find a way to fit in. If it’s not damaging to the rest of the team, find the Ass Kisser a mentor. And enjoy the attention! The Smoker… okay, it’s a bad habit. But why should the Smoker get constant extra breaks, well because he is a smoker? Institute a total ban on smoking in the workplace right from the beginning.
The people we work with can drive us all crazy with their bizarre antics and eccentric personalities. After spending 8+ hours a day eventually we morph into one big dysfunctional family. As their leader, it is your job to figure out how to meet their individual needs and find the fun in dysfunction.