No one is indispensable when it comes to employment. However, there are skills that make someone irreplaceable in their workplace. These include:

  • Being a smart worker
  • Taking calculated risks that consistently pay off
  • Having skills no one else has

It is great to be all of the above and a good employee. However, despite embodying some or all these qualities, an individual can still be poor at being an employee. Or, they can get lucky and the timing is just not right to fire someone on your team. There are six types of difficult employees that you might have to continue working with.

The Bully: This is the individual who strikes terror in the hearts of fellow employees. They like to pick on the quieter members of the group and don’t really care how their behavior impacts others.

The Victim: This is the employee who never takes responsibility for anything. Things just happen to the victim type of employee. Once they have done their “part”, any fallout that occurs is never their fault.

The Nay Sayer: In this case, the employee is negative about everything. They resist everything that is suggested, from new policies to a change in the processes. They tend to badmouth any suggestion put forth by fellow employees or the management.

The Smart Cookie: The smart cookie is indeed a brilliant mind and knows it. Their smarts make them arrogant and full of their own ideas and they like to let everyone know about their incredible ideas at every turn.

The Narcissist: Narcissists are all about themselves. There is no room to accommodate others because they may take the limelight from them. They can be very competitive with a tendency to resort to underhand methods to stay relevant.

The Phantom: The phantom is never there to work with others in a team. Every time a team effort is suggested they come up with an excuse why they can’t be there. Although they can get their share of the work done they are never there to lend a helping hand. Sometimes they are not even there to take up their share of the work.

How to Deal with Such Employees

The bully: Find out why they are so aggressive. Give them a healthy outlet to let out their aggression and show them how their behavior negatively impacts the growth opportunities that come their way despite their great work.

The Victim: Accountability is the key to dealing with the victim. It is important to show them that they have a responsibility when it comes to their work and any subsequent situations that arise from it. Give them a schedule of what to do, the quality of work you expect and the time of delivery.

The Nay Sayer: Negativity can be hard to eliminate in a person. Instead of trying to force positivity use them to poke holes in proposals and projects in order to seal any loopholes that others may not see. Because they see the negative in everything, this could be their integral role in every project.

The Smart Cookie: The good thing about smart cookies is that they like to be right. Showing them how wrong their approach to work has been and how it impacts on their delivery and potential can be a huge catalyst for change.

The Narcissist: A narcissist may need to run solo projects in order to be effective and not feel undermined. It is important for them to have the spotlight on themselves alone in order to be productive and they will outdo themselves in a bid to shine.The Phantom: This employee needs a hard talk about respect, working together, work ethics and responsibility. Clearly, they believe that it is not their responsibility to help out in team endeavors, nor do they expect to be physically present, even during work hours. No amount of nurturing will curtail this bad behavior. Sometimes an ultimatum can help them snap out of their poor work ethic.

Any of these people can be difficult to deal with. But by understanding the “type” of difficulty and how to manage it, you can potentially make the situation much more sustainable.