The 9 Worst Types of Employees

Figure Out Which of Your Employees Are Causing a Problem

Interested in good employee morale, team chemistry, and improved retention. Then you’d better realize your employees don’t have to be best friends, but they do have to at least get along for productivity’s sake. Quality coworkers can be the reason some people stay at a job, while horrible colleagues can make every day in the office a living hell from which they’ll almost certainly want to escape.

If you’ve spent any time managing employees, you’ve no doubt experienced a cornucopia of annoying workers. But have you ever wondered which ones are the worst apples that spoil the bunch? We did, and so I drew on my own experiences and polled other Salary.com workers to come up with the nine most annoying types of coworkers on the planet.

See if you recognize anyone from your office (or yourself) on this list.

Bullying has been a hot issue among teenagers and on school playgrounds across America as of late. But even though it doesn’t get the same play in the media, office bullies are alive and well.

You know the type. They walk around like they’re the boss even though they hold the same title as the people they’re ordering around. But that doesn’t stop them from belittling others at every turn and publicly degrading new ideas during brainstorming sessions and team meetings.

As a manager it’s your job to make sure things run smoothly, so take him/her aside and let them know that kind of behavior won’t stand.

Nothing stops success and the free-flowing of good ideas like someone who constantly complains about everything.

The Complainer’s gripes know no bounds. They’ll complain about the company, the workload, the boss (you), and the fact that there were only plain doughnuts left in the cafeteria this morning – you name it, they’ll complain about it. The negativity is constant, and the mood of the team (and potentially productivity) will be brought down unless the problem is addressed.

Try to implement a rule that if you’re going to complain, you need to also bring a potential solution to the table at the same time.

This annoying worker is especially frustrating because he/she will often feign friendship and then stab others in the back five minutes later.

Did you have an employee discuss a great idea with a coworker only to see that person steal it and use it as their own? Do you have one or more employees missing meetings because their coworker leading a project keeps “forgetting” to email them the invites? If so, you’re probably dealing with The Bully’s sneaky and conniving cousin – The Underminer.

The most important thing to remember here is that The Underminer sees others as a threat and is genuinely scared of them. Try to keep that in mind and use it to your advantage when dealing with him/her.

Every worker should bring unique strengths and special skills to the table. If you’ve created a team environment, you’ll likely use each individual’s strong points for the benefit of the team to get optimal results.

Unless you’re dealing with Dead Weight.

Simply put, The Dead Weight is useless and shows no desire to do anything but the bare minimum. Unhappy in their jobs and checked out long ago, these people have no interest in succeeding at work because all they want to do is just enough not to get fired so they can keep collecting a paycheck. Unfortunately, if allowed to go unchecked and unrecognized, your hard-working employees will have to pick up their slack, which leads to a lot of resentment.

Either call out poor performance or reward those who are carrying the load.

The polar opposite of The Dead Weight, Type A coworkers are equally annoying at the other end of the spectrum.

Instead of not wanting to do anything, these perfectionists feel the need to do everything themselves. They are total control freaks who feel the only way to do something right is to do it their way. Type A people tend to ignore alternative points of view, and while their bossy ways might make them high-performers, no one else enjoys dealing with them.

Make sure you allow your Type A employees room to operate without negatively impacting the rest of your team.

You think that one accomplishment Sally had was a game-changer? I guarantee you The One-Upper did something better. And he’ll gladly tell you all about it in great detail.

Someone increased sales by 50%? Too bad The One Upper had a 60% spike last quarter? And while you’re trying to announce someone’s status as Employee of the Month, The One-Upper reminds everyone he was Salesman of the Year – for two years in a row. Whether these milestones were actually reached or (more likely) The One-Upper is bending the truth a bit, either way it’s obnoxious and can very easily squash morale in a team setting.

Some people get ahead by working hard and accomplishing their goals. But The Brown-Noser advances by puckering up to your backside.

This person does perfectly mediocre work and doesn’t excel in any particular area, yet keeps trying to move up the ranks by figuring out exactly whose derriere to kiss, and works hardest on always seeming likable to upper management. And nothing is more demoralizing to people actually working hard than others who get promoted based on things other than work ethic and results.

Hone your BS detector and realize that while flattery is nice, results matter most.

Don’t let the “Queen” part fool you, as this person can definitely be a man or a woman.

Somehow, even though everyone has the same assignment, the Drama Queen feels put upon or singled out – and has no qualms airing their alleged woes. Adding to the problem is you probably know all of the Drama Queen’s other issues – both personally and professionally – because nothing is sacred and the Drama Queen wants you to know about all his/her problems. Upcoming wedding? Recent break-up? Blind date over the weekend? Buckle up, because you’re about to hear all about it.

While you want your employees to feel a level of comfort in approaching you, make sure you establish at least a few boundaries to keep things from spiraling out of control.

You know who I’m talking about. The worker who is probably a nice enough person, but who wastes more time on a daily basis than Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest combined.

If you catch his/her eye in the hallway or at the water cooler, you cringe because you just know it’ll be a guaranteed 15-20 minutes of chit-chatting and small talk before you can rip yourself away. Same goes for your other employees. But while they can do their best to avoid the Time Waster, sometimes he/she comes directly to your employees. Then the productive people are stuck at their desks as they play the latest viral YouTube cat video while the clock ticks on your project deadline.

As manager, you need to keep people focused and on track. If necessary, set up meetings with the problem employee to check on progress and cut down on wasted time.

So how about it? Did we miss any? Leave your most annoying coworker descriptions in the comments section.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re dealing with the best or worst of your employees, because knowing what to pay each of them is of paramount importance. That’s where we Salary.com for Business can help.

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