The 10 Worst Kinds of Employees a Boss Can Have

Nightmare Employees You Want To Avoid

Any boss will tell you that there are a lot of things that can’t be determined from a resume and even from the interview. Some people interview really well and can then turn out to be a nightmare of an employee. Every boss had hired one or more of these types of employees and lived to regret it. Here are some of the worst kinds of employees and how to recognize them.

The Thief

This is a very tricky one to deal with. You can terminate an employee for theft and if it is embezzlement then that is what should happen but often times it is much smaller than that and while they cannot be allowed to remain, you may not want to get the police involved. Usually this is not the first time they have done something like this but employers are not allowed to give this information to potential new employers when a reference is requested. It is amazing how often this happens. You would imagine if a person is terminated under a cloud they would not mention that company on their resume but that is usually not the case. As the boss you can say that you would not rehire them but you cannot say why. So it is employer beware.

The Time Management Challenged

They just don’t know the meaning of deadline. Somehow they can never get all their work done. They don’t have more work that anyone else and very often they have less they just have never learned how to use their time efficiently. This is an issue that can be addressed and proper training can insure that it gets corrected.

Directionally Challenged

One of the biggest frustrations  for a boss is than employee who continues to do something incorrectly even when they have been instructed otherwise multiple times. They refuse to accept that the way they have always done something may not be the way the boss or the company wants it done.

Non-Team Player

Most bosses expect their employees to work together for the common good. If one member is in trouble the others should pitch in to make sure that everything that needs to be done gets done. There is always one person however, who thinks that they should not have to do anything but their own specific job. This gets old after a while and hopefully they are never the one who needs the others help.

The Gossip

Most bosses have to deal with this at some point in their career. This can threaten the good of the whole company. It can be directed at the boss, at another employee or just the world in general. The gossip will cause trouble one way or another, they thrive on it.

The Underminer

This employee is always trying to look good to the boss’s boss by taking credit for work that has been done or by making remarks that make the boss look incompetent or disorganized. This can be very subtle and with a patient underminer will build slowly, ultimately trying to get the boss removed. This is vicious form of ambition and can cause real damage to moral.

Absentee Employee

They are sickly or they have major problems with their spouse, parents, dog or car. Whatever the excuse they are out way too often and way beyond what the company allows. They tend to take Mondays and Fridays for long weekends, they are absent when the work load is heavy and when they are reprimanded, they are shocked that anyone would question their attendance.

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Company Basher

Every chance that they have, these employees are complaining about the way the company treats them. It can be that they are not paid enough, they are overworked, the other employees are stupid, boss is unfair and a hundred other evil things to say about the company who is giving them a paycheck.

Know It All

As a boss, you have undoubtedly come across this employee. During training they never take notes, they know it all. Yet at some point down the road they are going to screw up and not know how to do something. They will pretend that they do know because after all, they know everything.

Blame Passer

Every employer knows this employee well. They are never to blame; no matter what the issue is they are not responsible, it is always someone else’s fault. They couldn’t finish their task because someone asked them a question, they had to answer the phone, and the dog ate their report. You all know this employee; they have an excuse for everything. Probably in the end it is because you aren’t a good boss.

No matter how hard you try as a boss, you are going to end up with one or more of these worst kinds of employees working for you. How you deal with them is a measure of the kind of boss that you are.


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