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How to Deal With Annoying Employees You Can't Afford to Fire

By Marga Salvador on November 11, 2016

As a manager, you want to be able to work with everyone in your team. No, you need to be able to work with them. Like many team mantras, you're only as good as the person next to you. And even for the most self-proclaimed people person out there, there are some personalities whom you simply don't jive with. In a team at the office, this can get particularly unnerving as your job relies on your output. How do you stay sane and perform when there are people around you who seem to push all the wrong buttons?

Let's assume that these personalities at the office are all well performing individuals. If they weren't, you wouldn't need to be reading this article and you'd have grounds to let them go.
Little Miss Late a.k.a. The Late Comer
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Don't confuse this employee for The Buzzer Beater who makes it to work with a second to spare, The Late Comer never seems to make meetings on time and has a longstanding inability to hear their alarm clock. The problem is, despite never being on time, The Late Comer finds the time and gets their job done.

How to deal with them?

Implement an x strike rule. Punctuality can be forgiven in the workplace but it is a part of your work and performance. Waking up to an alarm is something that can be learned and should not be an excuse for being late. Tell The Late Comer that even if he meets all his quotas but can't make a 9am meeting, x meetings in a row, they're cut.
Mr. Nobody a.k.a. The Invisible One
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Like the name suggests, Mr. Invisible is often no where in sight. He arrives very early in the morning, does his deliverables, and leaves as soon as he can. If your company has a work from home option, he would do this everyday if he could. His work is always complete and on time, you're just not sure what he looks like. He's a legend in the office not because he's extraordinary but because there are only a few people who have ever actually seen him.

How to deal with them?

Go the extra mile and implement a team building activity (mandatory, physical attendance) every now and then. This will force your team to bond and get to know each other. Even if Mr. Invisible is a homebody by nature, this will encourage them to be more physically present.
Little Miss Bossy a.k.a. The Competitive One
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There's an internal debate with many employees as to how much they can perform. The Competitive One will gladly take on the load of the entire team and has little regard for the concept of 'team effort'.They get the job done, but in a way, they also get too much of the job done. This is a moral argument that some managers will have. What's more important —being a team or progress? Answer: none. Find the balance.

How to deal with them?

Further distribute and assign the goals within the team. Instead of just having team targets every month, divide those targets between members. If The Competitive One finishes theirs early, they now need to come to you to ask for more instead of just hoarding all the work. It's great that they want to continuously do more but everyone has an "enough".
Mr. Rude a.k.a. Mr. Rude
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They are the one who is loud and unapologetic about everything. These employees often have a hard time biting their tongues and keeping still about anything. Mr. Rude meet their targets and they'll make sure the entire office knows. What's worse is when someone doesn't reach their own targets, Mr. Rude borders on being a bully and will often use the excuse of "joke lang kasi".

How to deal with them?

Like all of the annoying employees at the office, a good private sit down could do wonders. Take them aside (or to lunch) and have a conversation about these issues. Inform them of their behaviour and how it's affecting the team and it's overall performance. This is the professiona version of a scolding and employees take it seriously.

Oftentimes, annoying employees aren't aware of how they act or that it's affecting the team. When they are made aware, they take note and change. If they don't, well, then you may or may not have grounds to fire them now.

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