There are three types of difficult employees in the office that seem to constantly cause workplace conflict: the “drama queen”, the “victim”, and the “nonconformist.” According to an article in Inc., these three types of difficult employees can be dangerous to an organization by causing toxicity in the workplace. It is important to know how to deal with difficult employees like these in order to increase productivity and improve employee engagement.
The drama queen
Sits up in bed every morning, and looks around her (or his) bedroom to address the cameras that are surely broadcasting their every move on a reality TV show. This is to say, the drama queen acts like they’re center stage in a one-woman (or man) show—and every good show needs a little drama. These types like to stir things up and watch the spectacle unfold. It gives their life meaning in some way. The drama queen is often at the heart of office conflicts, constantly demanding attention and time which effectively kills productivity.
More than wasting time and depleting productivity, drama queens can have a negative effect on employee engagement. If they’re not center stage, they’re probably off somewhere talking to anyone who will listen, and odds are the conversation is in a negative tone. According to Forbes, “Gossip can create productivity issues, morale issues, employee engagement and turnover issues, even liability issues when pervasive gossip is deemed ‘malicious harassment’.” It’s difficult to manage drama queens, especially because most of the harm they cause is of the social variety. “No-gossip” policies are nearly impossible to enforce, and may cause employees to feel their conversations are being monitored. Inc. suggests documenting problem behaviors and addressing them directly with the individual.
Stay tuned for the second type of difficult employee…