Ideally, we’d all like to run companies where every personality was complementary to the aims of the business. But, unfortunately, this isn’t usually how things work out in the real world. No matter how diligent you are in your hiring process, you’ll eventually end up with personalities that clash and cause issues.
The good news is that a lot of these personalities can be compartmentalised into particular categories and then dealt with on a case by case basis. Here are some of the personalities you’re likely to encounter in the workplace and what to do about them.
The Guy Who Loves Competition
Having a bit of healthy competition in the workplace is probably a good thing. After all, you want your colleagues to spa off against each other to get the best out of them. But some people are so competitive that they don’t care whether they hurt other people in the process, so long as they’re winning.
The good news is that there is a way to use this competitive energy for the good of your business. Instead of having a competitive employee work for themselves, get them to focus on helping their whole team win. You can do this by setting team goals instead of individual goals and making it clear that bonuses will only be paid for team goals being achieved. This helps to remove the individual element, helping competitive employees focus more on the people around them.
The One Who Throws Tantrums
Is there somebody in your office who throws a tantrum at the drop of a hat? You’re not alone. There are all sorts of personalities that relish the opportunity to act out. These are the people who love to shout, create a stir and have a hissy fit.
As an owner or a manager, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when a tantrum is in full swing, but they’re actually remarkably easy to nip in the bud. The first thing to do is to establish clear boundaries. Often drama queens benefit from being told in blunt terms that things like crying, screaming and name calling aren’t acceptable modes of communication. If that doesn’t work, you can always try publicly ejecting them from meetings.
The King Of Being Late
One complaint consultants, like Ellis Whittam, hear from businesses all the time is employees turning up to work late. The king of being late is the employee who strolls in at 9:30 am when he should have been there at 8, but always seems to have an excuse for being late.
There are a couple of ways that you could deal with this. One is to simply roll with the punches and set up a flexible working timetable for said employee. So long as he gets all his work done, then you’ll tolerate his timetable.
The other approach, of course, is to teach him why it’s not nice being late. How would he like it if his paycheck was delayed?
In most offices, there’s usually at least one person who has a problem with authority. It’s not just that they don’t agree with the dictates of management: they actively rail against them, dissing them at every opportunity. While this might be a source of entertainment for the rest of your employees, it can, over time, create division in a company, which is why it is so important to stop. The more management is undermined, the less likely employees are to follow the rules, and this can lead to serious disciplinary action.
Is there anything you can do about an employee who hates authority? One idea relies on the principles of karate where you take your opponent’s energy and use it against them. Employees who hate management are usually magnificent at playing the role of customer advocate. Try putting them in this position and see what insights you get.
The Guy Who Likes The Sound Of His Own Voice
We’ve all worked with people who love the sound of their own voice. They never stop talking, despite the fact that they sound like a broken record, repeating the same old stories over and over again. This type of problematic employee personality can be especially annoying in presentations, where every single bullet point is meticulously discussed in all its detail.
So how do you prevent the guy who loves the sound of his own voice droning on and on? Try limiting the length of your meetings and installing a strict agenda. Better yet, ban Powerpoint altogether.