Employees from Hell: How to Identify Them and How to Handle Them

Employees from hell: how to identify them and how to handle themNo matter how good your recruitment strategy and how selective you are when choosing your final employees, almost every manager at some point has to deal with THAT employee in his or her team. The employee that is terribly hard to manage, the employee that is difficult to get along with or the employee that is impossible to trust. Usually, the most difficult part is not to identify those “employees from hell” but it is to figure out what to do with them.

Before determining your plan of action on how to deal with those employees, you should have clear what kind of employee from hell you are dealing with.

What types of employees from hell can you find in your business?

  • The one who knows it all

This employee always knows it better. They already know how to do something and if you ask them to complete a task in a different way they will not do that. This employee is the expert in everything.

  • The one with the negative attitude

This employee is also known as Negative Nancy. Nothing ever goes well and nobody is ever doing a good job. Everything that goes wrong is somebody else´s fault. Employees with a negative attitude can have a ripple effect on your workforce and therefore can be very toxic for your business.

  • The one with the personal issues

This employee has a lot of personal issues and takes these to the office. So whether they are crying on your shoulder, taking care of their personal issues during work hours, bothering everyone with their problems, or just not focused at all, this employee does not have a good influence on your business.

  • The one you can´t trust

This employee can steal from you, lie to your face, or are working with a hidden agenda. Honesty and trust are lacking in your relationship with this employee.

  • The one who is never there

This employee either doesn´t show up, takes too much time off or arrives in zombie-state when he/she arrives at the office.

  • The one who argues every point you make

This employee debates everything you ask them and never likes the way you propose a certain action. This employee wants to argue for the sake of arguing and believe their way is the only right way.

  • The one who has communication issues

This employee doesn´t have very strong interpersonal and communication skills. Therefore, working with them can be very difficult and no matter how competent this employee is, they can´t get their message across.

  • The one who is always busy with someone else´s business

This employee wants to know everyone´s business and is more occupied with worrying about what others should be doing instead of what they should be doing themselves. Another favorite activity of them is gossiping.

After identifying what kind of employee from hell you´re dealing with, you need to identify your plan of action. How do you deal with this employee?

Probably the easiest way to deal with most types of employees of hell is to fire them and get rid of the toxic influence they have on your business. However, you might be willing to give them a chance to change or you might simply not always be willing or able to fire them. Therefore, you might also want to think about how you lead by example by showing how you want them to do things and also to think about how you can train your employees (from hell) to change these behavioural characteristics.

In order to avoid hiring (too many) employees from hell, you also need to make sure that in your interview process you ask enough behavioural questions and you listen to their tendency to talk about others instead of about themselves.

Of course, there is not a standard case of dealing with employees from hell, so you will need to realize that every situation will have their unique circumstances and will require their own unique approach.

What is your experience in dealing with employees from hell?

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