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Recognizing and handling dysfunctional employees can be hard for even the most experienced manager and is almost always time consuming to handle especially at first. That's why so many employees "get away" with their conduct, and many get away with it for years. However, you can never have a fully functioning team and the respect of your employees if you don't step up and handle these people problems.
Managers want to create an environment in which employees are engaged and motivated to do their best job every day. A manager wants their people to be productive, happy and performing. After all workplaces are places where we often spend more time with our coworkers than our families!
However, every manager who takes over a group of people will invariably inherit at least one dysfunctional and/or non-performing employee. Sometimes the conduct is purposeful and other times not. These employees can torpedo not just group results but the manager's performance and reputation as well. A manager's management style can even be negatively impacted as the manager begins to mistrust, over react, and begins treating all employees harshly.
All managers and especially those new to supervising people, have to have a plan for handling dysfunctional employees. Dysfunctional employees can be hard to spot though. They don't wear Ogre logo T-shirts. In fact, often they will be the first to welcome you to your new job or department. So a manager needs an ability to recognize, foresee and handle such employees. Because by the time an unaware manager realizes with whom they are now dealing with, the problem would have escalated and spread. Many a time a particularly dysfunctional employee can even cost a new manager their own job.
Regardless, these employees make it hard for the group to shine as they are akin to a large rock dragging everyone downhill, every day and in every way. Some of these employees are also so outstandingly disagreeable every day and in every way that they ruin the entire team's very enjoyment of their workday. Left unchecked a manager can even lose the respect of the whole team based on their inability to contain the effects of one dysfunctional employee.
Teri Morning, MBA, MS, specializes in solving company "people problems"