Evaluating Employees

Bad Apple Staff Members Part 3

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

Bad apples work so subtly as to be virtually unnoticeable in the office. Is there a bad apple in your office?

The list of these problem-prone employees stretches on, however with careful thought, they can be neutralized.

Bad Apple Type 3: The Drama Queen or Crisis King

Oh, these gals and guys are the reason the word negative was invented. They thrive as pessimists and their fuel or lifeblood is crisis of any sort. They favor catastrophe and like to be seen to be active when everything goes pear-shaped. Behind the scenes they are usually responsible for things getting to disaster point because they tend to neglect their duties and are inconsistent. They place great emphasis on any project you give them, proclaiming it a life or death situation. Big noise - low effort best describes the Drama Queen or Crisis King.

What effect can the Drama Queen or Crisis King have on your other staff members?

Because these types thrive on crisis, they tend to make mountains out of mole hills, so even the smallest mistakes made by other members of staff will be blown out of all proportion. The Drama Queen or Crisis King will misrepresent others and ruin their reputations if it means being at the center of a dilemma themselves.

What to do if you think there is a Drama Queen or Crisis King in your midst?

When working with a Drama Queen or Crisis King, be cautious about deadline times for projects. Give a cut off date that is earlier than you really need, that way you can avoid the 'leaving it to the last minute for added drama' situation happening.

Bad Apple Type 4: The Gossip

Someone in the office keeps the rumor mill churning with all the latest. It's the Gossip, of course. He or she is the one who makes sure everyone else's misdemeanors get back to you, the head honcho. The Gossip doesn't aim to be the purveyor of good news, oh no, like most bad apple types they focus on the negative aspects. They like to highlight others' weak points in order to makes themselves look better.

What effect can the Drama Queen or Crisis King have on your other staff members?

The Gossip creates a feeling of mistrust in the workplace and can damage the way teams work. He or she is not averse to setting other members against each other by misusing information. By weakening strong bonds the Gossip gives him or herself a feeling of power. This can have a devastating effect on groups who are meant to work together on a trust basis.

What to do if you think there is a Gossip in your midst?

Be wary of any member of your staff who regularly pops into your office to let you know that so-and-so in accounts did such-and-such. As boss you need to elevate yourself and try to look beyond what the Gossip tells you. Always verify that the information you receive, from any source, is correct before addressing it with the accused.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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