A few months ago, I introduced you to an employee you may have encountered in your lifetime, called The AWOL. You know, the one that just never seems to be around when a project is due? Then, I talked about The Egomaniac. Remember, the one who takes “not a team player” to a whole new level? The Egomaniac and The AWOL are just two of many personality types that Jezra Kaye and I help managers address with our book, Managing the Unmanageable: How to Motivate Even the Most Unruly Employee.
Today, I’m bringing another unmanageable employee (UE) to the table. This one is called “The Rude-nik.” Perhaps you’ve met?
While The Rude-nik thinks he’s just being assertive, you couldn’t prove it from the people he works with. Name calling, hissy fits, raised voices, and sudden mood swings are just some of the gifts he shares with others in the workplace — all in the name of “doing his job.”
How are you supposed to deal with this person? Jezra and I came up with a tool kit of sorts, which we call the “5C’s.” Take a look:
- Before you do anything, you must Commit or Quit. Are you going to keep The Rude-nik or go through the process of hiring someone else? Make that decision. If you’re keeping The Rude-nik, commit to their future, whether or not they make you want to rip your hair out.
- So you’ve committed. Now, it’s time to Communicate. Completely honest conversations can be awkward for everyone but they have to be done. Have a real conversation with your UE. It’s common to graze over difficult topics when meeting with employees, especially if they love raising their voices like Rude-niks do. Don’t worry, keep reading and we’ll help you know what to talk about.
- Now you are committed to keeping The Rude-nik and are preparing for an honest conversation. What do you even talk about? As a manager, you need to clarify goals and roles. Maybe The Rude-nik thinks he knows exactly what is expected of him but he is way off base. Lay out clearly what The Rude-nik’s role is and create goals to work toward.
- You’ve committed to salvage your UE and have clearly and honestly communicated their goals and roles. It’s time to Coach. Coaching is a great management tool. You can use coaching to help shift negative attitudes and build a better relationship with your UE. Yes, even with The Rude-nik.
- If you follow steps one through four, you’re on the right track! The bad news is, behaviors, like habits, are difficult to break. There’s a solution to that too– create accountability. Create a system to keep The Rude-nik on track with the changes and commitments you’ve discussed. Creating accountability has an added benefit– it will also help you with your management goals.
There are many more difficult employee types that seem unmanageable. I love to speak about managing those unmanageables too! Stay tuned.Photo by Bob Smith featured on The Examiner.