IAN FERGUSON: How to deal with employee misfits


Ian Ferguson

EMPLOYEES are the most essential part of any company. And skilled recruiters will try to source the best workers for their business. Yet often, when quality human resources practices are not functional and do not allow standard functions to thrive, you end up with a workplace littered with misfits. Today’s definition of a “misfit employee” is one who knows they are out of place by virtue of their inexperience, lack of qualifications, flawed character, unimpressive personality and - as my grandmother would say - dull wit.

The misfit employee is usually the disruptive team member who leads the office gossip and meddle’s in everyone’s affairs due to their lazy, unproductive and idle ways. We this week identify the antics of such employees and provide solutions for helping them find the path to productivity.

Over-friendly wandering employees

There are employees who get over-friendly not only with their bosses but also with their colleagues. These employees give poor value, as they neglect their work and just wander around to trouble their colleagues. They are not only failing to meet their own personal and professional responsibilities, but they are preventing others from accomplishing business goals and objectives as well.

In a leadership role, it is important to maintain a professional relationship with this employee and help them realise that they are responsible for their share of the work. Part of the laziness and wandering is that we have not done our due diligence in providing adequate and meaningful work for them to do. We have to ensure we provide the training, equipment and resources employees need to experience success.

Procrastinating employees

Every workplace has one, even several, procrastinators. Beware. Do not allow your employees opportunities to delay their work. This is sometimes a sign of laziness where employees find a way to escape and postpone their work. Postponing the work puts unnecessary stress on the rest of the team.

Be firm in your decisions and strictly schedule a procrastinator’s work. Give them deadlines and schedule their work on day-to-day basis. Make your workers understand the importance of their tasks and how it will affect the company if not done on time.

Absentee employees

There are times when you have noticed one of your team members does not turn up for important events, such as meetings at the office. You can call that person an absentee. They fall sick every week, or say their children, parents or grandparents are hospitalised. An absentee will always let you and your company down and force others to pick up their slack.

Most workplaces simply give a set number of casual or sick days to employees. When this is exhausted, the employee suffers the consequences of being absent. The employee will soon learn to use their days wisely or for when there are real cases of emergency.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com.

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